Air Algerie Launches Qatar Flights And Switches London Flights To Stansted

Algerian flag carrier Air Algérie is launching flights between Algeria and Qatar, commencing next month.

The Air Algérie services will operate from Algiers Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG) to Doha Hamad International Airport (DOH). The twice-weekly 2,900 miles (4,700 kilometers) services will start on August 4 using an Airbus A330-200. Qatar Airways currently operates the Doha-Algiers route four times weekly using Airbus A330-200s and A330-300s. Flight QR1379 operates on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, departing Doha at 08:10 for the scheduled six-hour flight to Algiers. It is due to arrive in the Algerian capital at 13:20, although a scan of Fightradar24.com data shows that most flights land around 30 minutes early.

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Qatar Airways is already flying the Doha-Algiers route that Air Algérie is commencing on August 4. Data: Flightradar24.com

It’s time for 15 new aircraft at Air Algérie

Air Algérie has a fleet of 55 aircraft, which ch-aviation.com lists as eight Airbus A330-200s, 15 ATR 72s, 25 Boeing B737-800s, two B737-700s and five B737-600s. The A330s have an average age of nearly 14 years, with three delivered in 2015 and five in 2005. All eight have a three-class layout, with the older aircraft carrying 263 and the newer ones 251.

Air Algérie received government approval in May to purchase 15 new aircraft to expand its network further in Africa and Asia. The airline operates to 35 domestic and 44 international destinations, covering 28 countries in Africa, Europe, North America and Asia. The announcement did not specify the manufacturer or aircraft type it had in mind, leaving that for the airline to decide and recommend.

In June, ch-aviation.com reported that Yacine Benslimane, formerly managing director of now-defunct Aigle Azur, was appointed CEO of Air Algérie. At the time, the Algerian Minister of Transport Abdallah Moundji said that fleet procurement would be among the most pressing matters for the new CEO to pursue.

Moundji also said that the new CEO would have to immediately contact aircraft manufacturers to acquire 15 new aircraft, thereby implementing the instructions of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. He added, “Secondly, the new Air Algérie boss will have to look into improving the company’s service, in particular the sale of tickets, their availability as well as service onboard. All this will accompany the digital transformation of Air Algérie.”


The minister also wants Benslimane to “nurture and grow” revenue streams from new and existing subsidiaries, like cargo, scrutinize manpower and eliminate unnecessary overheads. He also wants to see Algiers Houari Boumediene Airport transformed into a hub for African air travel.

Air Algérie needs to replace older aircraft, such as its five Boeing B737-600s, which are more than 20 years old. Photo: Getty Images

Trying to sort out London airports might be a bigger problem

The new CEO is probably already busy dealing with the chaos at London Heathrow Airport (LHR), which caused Air Algérie to divert some flights to London Stansted Airport (STN) last week. The airline said in a statement:

“Following the unilateral measure taken by London Heathrow Airport, imposing on all airlines activating on the platform, a limitation of traffic and aircraft movements, Air Algérie is forced to transfer, as of July 22, 2022, part of its activity to Stansted Airport. “

The first flights to be moved were the Algiers-London Heathrow flight on July 22 and the return flight the following day. The airline’s Facebook page said, “Air Algérie invites passengers from London to come directly to Stansted airport for all flights from July 22 to 31, 2022.”

Would you fancy being the CEO of Air Algérie, or any airline for that matter, with what’s happening in aviation today?

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