Air Transport World

Cameroon Airlines moving ahead with new management.

Cameroon Airlines moving ahead with new management Douala, Cameroon--One sure way to start a lively discussion in Cameroon is to ask an opinion about the national airline. Cameroon Airlines has been a controversial subject since its establishment in 1971 following the decision by the then-President of Cameroon that his county should pull out of Air Afrique. He took that decision to end dissension in the government as to the wisdom of such action.

There is little similarity between the Cameroon Airlines of today with its own Boeing 747, 737 and latest model British Aerospace 748 fleet, and the hastily formed carrier of 1971 which started operations possessing just three aircraft--two Douglas DC-4s and a Convair 440--that were supplemented by a Boeing 707 leased from Air France, a 737 leased from Aer Lingus and a third DC-4 leased from Air Niger.

There was plenty of enthusiasm but scant local expertise in international airline top management available in Cameroon, a country that was once a German colony and then under French and British administration until gaining independence in the early 1960s. Consequntly the government turned for help to Air France which had a small technical base in Douala. The French carrier acquired 30% of Cameroon Airlines' initial share capital and contracted to supply personnel for a number of key positions. However, thanks to Cameroon's participation in Air Afrique until 1971, there were several nationals with international airline experience available to fill middle management positions.

In the past 15 years Cameroon Airlines has seen a large number of top management changes, many of them politically inspired. The company is currently chaired by Transportation Minister Andre Bosco Cheuoua with Youssoufa Daouda, a former minister and most recently head of the Cameroon Railways as director general. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.