Air Côte d’Ivoire expands fleet with Airbus A330neo

Final two Pléiades Neo satellites arrive in Kourou for launch; Airbus and Salam join forces for HAPS

(PHOTO: Airbus) Côte d’Ivoire, the national airline of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, has signed a firm order for two A330neo aircraft to support its growth strategy. The agreement was announced at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, in the presence of Amadou Koné, Minister of Transport of Côte d’Ivoire, Laurent Loukou, CEO of Air Côte d’Ivoire, General Abdoulaye Coulibaly, President of Air Côte d’Ivoire Board and Philippe Mhun, Airbus Executive Vice President Programmes and Services.

The airline currently operates a fleet of six Airbus aircraft comprising one A320neo, two A320ceo and three A319. The new A330neo widebody aircraft will enable Air Côte d’Ivoire to grow its network and efficiently launch long haul routes in view of the airline’s transcontinental expansion strategy. The A330neo is the new generation version of the popular A330 widebody. Incorporating the latest generation engines, a new wing and a range of aerodynamic innovations, the aircraft offers a 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2-emissions. The A330-900 is capable of flying 7,200nm / 13,300km non-stop. Operating the A330neo side by side with its Airbus Single Aisle fleet, will enable Air Côte d’Ivoire to benefit from huge operational savings and more flexibility generated by Airbus’ unique commonality among its aircraft family members. As at the end of September 2022, the A330neo has received 275 firm orders from over 20 customers worldwide.

Final two Pléiades Neo satellites arrive in Kourou for launch
The last batch of the Airbus-built, owned and operated Pléiades Neo satellites has arrived at the European Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, following a transatlantic flight from Toulouse, France, where most of the manufacturing steps occurred over the last years. Scheduled to be launched at the end of November on the first commercial mission of the Vega C European rocket operated by Arianespace, the Pléiades Neo 5 and 6 satellites will complete the Airbus 30cm resolution four-satellite constellation.

“We are just one step away from completing this pioneering constellation, which already covers one million km² per day and delivers images at 30cm native resolution,” said François Lombard, Head of Intelligence at Airbus Defence and Space. “With this upcoming launch, we will double our capacity and be able to respond to our customers’ needs even faster, providing the best quality in the market for a wide range of military and commercial applications.”

The Pléiades Neo 3 and 4 satellites were launched in April and August 2021, respectively, and since then they have been collecting imagery easily accessible from Airbus’ OneAtlas digital platform, where customers can task new imagery and have access to archived images and extensive analytics.

Airbus and Salam join forces for HAPS
Airbus´ HAPS Connectivity Business has signed a strategic partnership with Salam, a leading Saudi telecommunications and ICT company and part of the Mawarid Media & Communications Group (MMCG), to progress the development of private networks, IoT applications, disaster management solutions and other connectivity and high-altitude Earth observation services from the stratosphere to serve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Ahmad Al-Anqari, Salam CEO, said: “We see in Airbus’ Zephyr platform a key asset to provide private network services, IoT solutions as well as civil, governmental and non-governmental applications. There are numerous use cases for the platform’s capabilities and we look forward to this partnership with Airbus to serve the Saudi market in support of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals.”

“In partnership with Salam, our Zephyr platform, with its demonstrated advanced capabilities, will be instrumental in serving several markets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Jeff Smith, Head of Connectivity of Airbus´ HAPS Connectivity Business.

Airbus, a leader in the HAPS (High Altitude Platform Station) market with Zephyr, will provide low-latency, direct-to-device 5G connectivity services, in addition to persistent high-resolution imaging and live-video, delivered from the stratosphere. The company’s  solution will support in bridging the digital divide and will bring connectivity services to those who are currently unserved or underserved from a solar powered and carbon neutral platform.

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