Congo Airways (8Z, Kinshasa N'Djili) has made its international debut with the launch of 3x weekly regular flights to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo in South Africa.

Following repeated delays that pushed the launch date beyond its originally envisaged November 2017 launch date, Congo Airways' finally inaugural service took place on February 28 between Kinshasa N'Djili and Johannesburg via Lubumbashi. Operations are on-board A320-200 equipment featuring 15 seats in business class and 150 in economy.

Congo Airways currently operates an in-house fleet of two A320-200s and two Dash 8-400s all of which is supplemented with one A320-200 wet-leased from Nouvelair and one A319-100 wet-leased from Olympus Airways (OLY, Athens Int'l). Until this development, it had focussed exclusively on domestic flights across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"Being cognizant of the immense role played by aviation, as a catalyst for the advancement of the DRC’s regional integration endeavours within the African continent and globally, Congo Airways is open to forging strategic partnerships with regional and continental countries as vehicles for regional integration," Congo Airways CEO Desire Balazire said in a statement.

The carrier's next international destinations to launch will be Douala (Cameroon) in March followed by Luanda (Angola), and Dubai Int'l.