Dakar - Air Senegal was expecting to inaugurate its first long-haul route on February 1st with its new Airbus A330neo. But the aircraft is still waiting for its engines in Toulouse, France.

Air Senegal won't be able to launch its first long-haul route between Dakar and Paris CDG with its new Airbus A330neo as it was planned before due to production problems with the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines. This unforeseen situation forced the African carrier to lease an old-generation Airbus A330 from wet-lease operator Hi-Fly to launch the Paris - Dakar route on February 1st as promised.

To date, the national airline of Senegal flies to a dozen regional destinations in nine African countries. The newly founded airline of Africa currently operates two Airbus A319 and two ATR72-600. Air Senegal has two Airbus A330neo in its order book waiting to be delivered.

Last October, the British engine manufacturer Rolls Royce announced that it was expecting to deliver fewer Trent 7000 engines than originally planned for the fourth quarter of 2018. The Trent 7000 is the exclusive engine choice for the A330neo.

The first Airbus A330-900 has entered into service with the launch company TAP Air Portugal in November last year. The Portugues carrier now operates three examples (18 still to be delivered). Rolls-Royce indicated that they were working closely with Airbus and its customers on the details of the delivery schedule. The manufacturer expects to increase the production and the delivery volumes of the Trent 7000 engines through the year.

Rolls Royce had similar launch issues before with the Trent 1000 engines dedicated to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.