Hargeisa, 15 June 2009 — Daallo airlines has launched a new luxury, daily nonstop services connecting Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa to number of cities in Africa, Middle East and Europe using it’s new fleet – the McDonnell Douglas DC-9, a twin-engine, single-aisle jet airliner.
The DC-9 passenger Jet can carry 91 passengers; 75 people in economy class and 16 business class passengers and its flight crew. The airliner has long been known for its reliability and efficiency.
The first Daallo airline DC-9 passenger jet arrived at Hargeisa’s Egal International Airport at 10:30 am, on time, on Sunday by a French flight crew. The carrier was met at the VIP terminal by cheerful political dignitaries, influential members, business executives, media personnel and community leaders who were invited to the occasion.
Among those who attended this historical inaugural flight were the chairman of Somaliland’s House of Elders, Mr Saleban Mohamud Adan, Chairman of the Somaliland parliament, Mr Abdirahman Mohamed Abbdillahi (‘Iro‘), Member of Parliament, Sheikh Mohamed Adan, Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Ali Mohamed (‘Waran Ade‘), former Somaliland Foreign Minister, Ms Edna Adan Ismael, President of WHO [Hargeisa], Ms Asiya, business executives from Dahabshiil, Telesom and Daallo airline’s Hargeisa employees and management staff.
Daallo Airline’s Hargeisa chief executive Mr Munir Haji Abdullahi told Somalilandpress that Daallo is the oldest private carrier to operate in Somaliland.
“Daallo has been operating in Somaliland for very long time from the time of the civil war when we started with old carriers, in fact, the legs would not even fold, we use to circulate around the city three times before landing. People use to wait for such a long time. Today however we brought a new luxury airliner, the DC-9 configured for 75 people in economy-class and 16 in the business-class.”
Mr Munir concluded that they will expand their flights from Hargeisa’s Egal International Airport. “Daallo airlines will operate seven days a week from Hargeisa to all the states. In addition, we will operate two flights to Hargeisa from Nairobi, three flights to Hargeisa from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, four flights to Hargeisa from Dubai, two from Europe to Hargeisa and two flights to Hargeisa from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” Mr Munir told Abdulqani of Somalilandpress.
In recent times, airline business has became one of the hottest industries in Somaliland, where in the last four months two new airliners were created, Suhura airways and Cosob airlines. There are also plans to expand Somaliland international airports to accommodate this surge in flights. Just last week Somaliland’s Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Ali Mohamed traveled to the port city of Berbera to unveil new plans to reconstruct and expand the existing airport due to fears of Hargeisa airport becoming too over crowded. Mr Ali told local media he plans to divert some of the flights to Berbera to ease the pressure on Egal International Airport during busy flights and in times of expansion and repairs.
Mr Ali also told reporters that his staff are expecting new equipments from Djibouti that will enable them to expand and construct a new highway for Egal International Airport to give motors better access.
Daallo airlines is the market leader in the industry and has been introducing customer-driven schemes and attractive fares due to competition from the new carriers. Most passengers complain about Daallo airline’s noisy old Russian jets, lack of proper ventilation and often over crowded. Will the new McDonnell Douglas DC-9 jets restore passenger’s confidence with Daallo? Only time will tell but one thing is for sure, its new day for Daallo airlines and Somaliland.
Daallo Airlines was established 1991 by two prominent Somaliland investors Mohamed Haji Abdullahi Abusita and Mohammed Ibrahim Yasin (Olaad). In early 2008, it entered a strategic partnership with Dubai World’s subsidiary Istithmar World Aviation and the Government of Djibout. It’s fleet consisted of 757-200, 727-200, AN24, with IL76 and AN12 for the cargo operations until today. It plans to become Djibouti’s National flag carrier, giving Daallo exclusive access to all routes and traffic rights held by the Republic Djibouti.
Abdulqani Hussein Baynax.