Air Sénégal (HC, Dakar Blaise Diagne Int'l) has long-held plans to serve the United States, including starting the application process with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but internal conflicts within the government of Senegal's President Macky Sall could put the breaks on the airline's transatlantic ambitions, according to local media reports.

The carrier has plans to start flights from Dakar Blaise Diagne Int'l to New York JFK via Washington Dulles from this summer. However, in a meeting of the Council of Ministers, the Senegalese head of state made his reservations clear to Alioune Sarr, minister of tourism and air transport.

"I salute your commitment to make Air Sénégal one of the best airlines in the sub-region, or even on the continent, but I find that it will be necessary to review your plan to serve the United States," said Sall.

He then suggested that the minister take all the necessary precautions before placing Air Sénégal on a route, especially given the likely high costs for the state-owned carrier.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Air Sénégal currently operates two A319-100s, two ATR72-600s, a wet-leased B737-500 from Blue Air (Romania) (0B, Bucharest Otopeni) and two A339neo. However, due to induction delays with its first in-house A339neo, 6V-ANB (msn 1923), which arrived on December 4, the carrier is currently wet-leasing a GetJet Airlines (GW, Vilnius) A330-300. This aircraft is operating Air Sénégal's 3x weekly route to Marseilles and Barcelona El Prat, as well as 6x weekly to Abidjan.

The Senegalese carrier's first A330-900 is operated on its behalf by Hi Fly Malta (HFM, Malta Int'l) and is registered in Malta as 9H-SZN (msn 1910). The aircraft is deployed daily to Paris CDG.