Congo Airways (8Z, Kinshasa N'Djili) has secured its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the Congolese civil aviation authority (Autorité de l'Aviation Civile du Congo - AACC).

In 2013, the AACC embarked on a large-scale, IATA-backed recertification programme of all locally-registered carriers in a bid to improve the Democratic Republic of Congo's overall aviation safety record and to extricate the country from the European Union's banned operators' list.

In its capacity as a state-owned national carrier, Congo Airways' certification according to IATA and ICAO norms shows the DRC's commitment to improving its safety culture, Minister of Transport Justin Kalumba said. He added that Kinshasa has set itself the target of removing itself from the blacklist by the end of the first quarter of next year.

As it stands, the acquisition of an AOC will now allow Congo Airways to formally apply for IATA membership and also begin international operations.

Launched late last year, Congo Airways operates two A320-200s and two Dash 8-400s on flights to Lubumbashi, Gemena, Kisangani, Goma, Kananga, Kindu, and Mbandaka from its Kinshasa N'Djili hub.