Air Burundi (PBU, Bujumbura) Group Managing Director, Emmanuel Habimana, says a return to service will prove costly both for the airline and its backer, the Burundian government, given the highly competitive nature of the market in the region. Overall initial start-up costs are expected to total BIF6billion (USD3.9million), he said in an interview with Bujumbura-based newswire, IWACU. Among its costs, Mr Habimana says the airline will require USD1.3million to overhaul and return its Beech 1900C, 9U-BHG (msn UC-147), into active service in support of the airline's sole aircraft, an Yunshuji Y-7, 9U-BHU (c/n 1019). An inability to secure adequate funding to overhaul the aircraft in 2009 led to the airline's suspension of operations which, despite the arrival of the MA60, it has yet to resume. On the issue of a second MA-60 due at the airline as part of a "Buy-One/Get-One Free" deal with China, the MD said the actual contract regarding the purchase of the aircraft (9U-BHU is recorded as having been a "donation" from China to Burundi) had yet to be finalized with no exact delivery date having thus far been agreed to. Despite having been in Bujumbura for over a year, the turboprop has yet to operate any actual revenue flights with Air Zimbabwe (UM, Harare Int'l) having thus far hired out crews and dispatchers to Bujumbura while locals are trained to both handle and operate the type.