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Camair-Co’s Acquisition Of Bombardier Q400 Aircraft Indicates Assurance 

By Joe Dinga Pefok
The acquisition of a modern Bombardier Q400 aircraft by Cameroon Airlines Corporation, Camair-Co, has sent another strong message of assurance to the Cameroonian people, that their national carrier, which, for some five years after its inaugural flight had disappointedly continued to creep, has not only finally found its wings, but has also found the right path to follow.
The Bombardier Q400 bought by Camair-Co arrived Cameroon on May 16 and was received by authorities at the Air Force Base 201 in Douala. It was followed by the official launching with an inaugural flight, Yaounde-Douala-Yaounde, on May 29, presided over by the Minister of Transport, Jean Ernest Messana Ngalle Bibehe, accompanied by the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary. The two members of Government and other dignitaries were received at the Yaounde –Nsimalem International Airport by the Board Chair of Camair-Co, Louis Georges Njipendi Kuoto, and the General Manager of the company, Ernest Dikoum.
The Governor of the Centre Region, Naseri Paul Bea, and many other personalities were part of the delegation that flew in the inaugural flight. The Governor of the Littoral Region, Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua, accompanied by his collaborators, received the delegation and the aircraft at the Douala International Airport.
The ceremony was also attended by local municipal, traditional authorities, and other invitees from the private and public sectors who were shown a video of the aircrafts unique features.
78 Passenger Seats
The Canada–made Bombardier Dash B-Q400 simply referred to as Bombardier Q400, is only two years old. It has a capacity of 78 passenger-seats, excluding seats for the two pilots as well as 2-3 cabin personnel. The aircraft has a larger space for luggage, made suitable with its ability to carry more kilogrammes of cargo. The Bombardier’s in-built technology gives the aircraft more stability in the air.
The General Manager of Camair-Co, Ernest Dikoum told reporters that the Bombardier Q400 has a capacity to easily navigate its way through challenging topography, thus, as regard local flight, is very suitable to fly to places like Bafoussam and Bamenda.
Dikoum asserted that the Bombardier is one of the best types of civilian aircraft in the world today.
To him, the coming of the additional plane will enable the airline to increase the number of its flights and destinations “This is a happy day for Cameroon”, Dikoum asserted.
Important Step In Restructuring Plan
Talking to reporters, the Board Chair of Camair-Co, Louis Georges Njipendi Kuoto, said the acquisition of the Bombardier Q400 is in line with the plan for the restructuring of Camair-Co. He said two of the major aspects in the restructuring programme included the acquisition of more aircraft by Camair-Co, and the increase of the destinations of the airline.
The Board Chair, said, among other things, the new aircraft will usher in an increase in the number of domestic flights and that it may likely prompt them to launch a daily flight to the Grand North. Njipendi Kuoto went on to say that there are quite a number of passengers in the Grand North, warranting a daily service to the area.

He said the management of Camair-Co will soon inform the public on the new changes or modifications that the airline will be introducing.

Camair-Co Now Has Six Aircraft
The acquisition of the Bombardier Q400 brings to six the number of planes in Camair-Co’s fleet. At take-off, Camair-Co had barely three planes in its fleet. These included the then 10-year-old Boeing 767-300ER, The Dja, which Camair-Co ‘inherited’ from the defunct national carrier, Cameroon Airlines. The other planes were a 5-year-old Boeing 737-300ER, and six year old Boeing 737-300ER, both of which Camair-Co took on a leasing agreement.
The Cameroon Government on the instruction of President Biya, a few years later, handed over two Chinese –made MA 60 aircraft to Camair-Co. The two small MA 60 planes were initially ordered by the Cameroon Government for use by the Cameroon Armed Forces.
13 Destinations
Camair-Co presently flies to a total of 13 destinations in the country and in the African continent. The local destinations include Yaounde, Maroua, Garoua, Ngaoundere, Bafoussam and Bamenda. The airline is reportedly working on a plan to launch flights to Bertoua as soon as possible. The Bertoua Airport, which had been abandoned for a long time, is reportedly undergoing some rehabilitation work.
Outside Cameroon, Camair-Co management is also reported to be working on a plan to reopen the Lagos (Nigeria) and Brazzaville (Congo Republic) destinations, as well as Bamako (Mali).
Records show that in 2017, Camair-Co, still with five planes, transported a total of 235,686 passengers.