Cameroon’s National Carrier (Camair-Co) will, on Monday, 12 October 2020, resume its activities which have been suspended for eight months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is a sigh of relief for the actors of an important sector of Cameroon’s economy. They lived eight months crossing the desert, following the application of government measures to respond to the pandemic that had hit Africa head-on. Like many other countries, Cameroon closed its land, sea and air borders.
The Camair-Co planes were all grounded during that period. According to Agence Cameroun Presse, the company is in debt to the tune of 115 billion CFA francs. Also, since April 2020, salaries have not been paid, with the exception of still active staff who received their August salary.
Now, the pandemic is on a downward trend. Several countries had decided long before to stop the bleeding at their airports by resuming activities. However, Cameroon seemed to prefer caution, after COVID-19 killed 420 people there. Nearly 21 000 infected cases have also been recorded in the country, including nearly 20 000 recoveries.
On the other hand, President Paul Biya has recently given orders for the quick resumption of Camair-Co’s activities, with a particular emphasis on domestic flights. The company confirmed the news on its website, stating, “Gradual resumption of operations on the domestic network [will resume] on Monday, 12 October 2020.”
Since last July, at least three multisectoral meetings have been chaired by Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute to fine tune the restructuring plan of Camair-Co. This work was “followed very closely” by President Biya.
In order to reinforce its fleet, the company, created in 2006, will, therefore, be able to count on the Boeing 737 type aircraft leased for three months on 25 September 2020. Camair-Co already has two Chinese MA 60 aircrafts.
In addition, two Dash Bombardier Q400 aircrafts are expected to be acquired soon after President Biya ordered his government to purchase them, which is part of the restructuring of Camair-Co. This acquisition should be financed by a budget of 15 billion CFA francs available to top management.