The Government of Ivory Coast has adopted a “plan to optimise the competitiveness” of Air Côte d'Ivoire (HF, Abidjan) in view of regional economic issues, the APA news agency has reported.

The cabinet adopted the plan to “support the profitability and sustainability” of the national carrier, which has contributed so much to local air traffic, Sidi Tiémoko Touré, the country's communications minister, declared on January 8. He did not specify what measures will be taken in so far as cost-reduction is concerned.

The measure comes seven years after the airline launched operations, with the minister stating that Air Côte d'Ivoire had already become a “benchmark” among West Africa's carriers with a “market share of 52%” and annual turnover of XOF90 billion CFA francs (USD153 million). However, in October 2018, the CEO of Air Côte d'Ivoire, René Decurey, admitted that in the period 2013-2017, the airline had lost XOF65.5 billion CFA francs (USD114 million), an overrun of XOF5.25 billion (USD9.15 million) as compared to its projected figure of XOF60.25 billion (USD105.1 million) at the end of 2017.

For the Ivorian government, one of the motivations behind the plan is to strengthen the regional influence of the airline as an “instrument of national pride that exceeds all expectations”, Touré said. The company carried “around 850,000 passengers” in 2019, a similar number to 2018, he added.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, loss-making Air Côte d'Ivoire operates four leased A319-100s, two owned A320-200s, and four owned Dash 8-400s on scheduled flights throughout Ivory Coast and West and Central Africa.