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West Africa’s pushy new kid on the block

Article - August 5, 2014
Emphasis on safety and standards the key differentiator
Cronos Airlines is young and ambitious. Founded only in 2007, new kid on the block Cronos is leading the way in bringing to West African regional air travel a fresh and refreshing philosophy, one that prizes safety and punctuality and that insists on attaining and maintaining international standards in every respect.

Being based in Equatorial Guinea, a small country with only 1.5 million people, its home market is limited but its ambitions are not and it is fast growing into its natural vocation to offer first-class safety, service and standards as it builds up its network within Africa.

Equatorial Guinea is radically transforming its regulatory structure for air transport, setting up an independent aviation authority as a national regulator with highly-qualified staff from overseas and local nationals trained in France to world-class capability.

This ambition and determination at the national level is matched by the track record of Cronos in growing from one 19-seater aircraft and 10,000 passengers in its first year of operations to 200,000 passengers now, seven years later, and a target of 450,000 passengers per annum by 2016.

The ambitions of Cronos for 2014 include obtaining IOSA certification and implementing enhanced IOSA procedures, while its sister company, Cronos Airlines International, based at the international airport in Johannesburg, is already South African-AOC certified and offers scheduled maintenance up to C-checks.

The fleet will be modernized by adding two A319 or A320 and three Embraer ERJ135 aircraft with routes planned north to Dakar via Niamey and south to Johannesburg, each three times weekly, thus connecting the airline to two of Africa’s major hubs. Code-share arrangements are being negotiated with European operators to further expand the route network.

Equatorial Guinea is also investing in new terminals and other infrastructure and sees development of selective tourism and eco-tourism as a key element in its national plan Horizonte 2020.

Cronos will certainly play its part in fulfilling this national objective with the connection to Johannesburg seen as a key link in bringing tourists to this new and unexplored tourist destination.

Cronos is an airline with clearly-defined ambitions, putting a premium on safety, service and standards, intelligently building a network linking growth hot-spots in Africa. The new kid in town, already so fast out of the starting blocks, now has its eyes fixed firmly on the finish line.