LONDON—Cardiff Aviation Chairman Bruce Dickinson says his company is looking for a Boeing 737 freighter for Air Djibouti’s first aircraft, as well as with two 737 passenger aircraft.
Cardiff Aviation—which offers maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), training and commercial-operations services—is creating a European-standard national carrier for Djibouti in eastern Africa.
Dickinson—who also is the frontman for the band Iron Maiden and an active pilot that is type-rated in various Boeing aircraft—hopes the 737s will be operating by the end of first-quarter 2016. By the end of second-quarter 2016, “we should start introducing the 767-200ER, that will probably be to London and Paris initially,” as the first two destinations, he told Aviation Daily in an exclusive interview at MRO Europe.
According to Dickinson, “Their aim is to also expand services to Guanghou in China and to India,” as well as to Miami, via Lagos in Africa. “That aircraft will actually do all of those routes comfortably,” he said, but he expects that Air Djibouti will need a second 767 by the time it expands to China and the U.S.
Four other countries are interested in starting an airline with aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) services or an “airline-out-of-a-box” concept, which includes everything needed for a safe and compliant operation, Dickinson said.
Cardiff Aviation launched its own ACMI airline, VVB, which has been operational since July.