The flag carrier of the Cabo Verde Republic has launched its new—and second US service- to Washington-Dulles. The privatised Cabo Verde Airlines will fly thrice a week on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays departing IAD at 07h45 local and arriving at 18h40 at its main base on Sal Island at Amilcar Cabral International Airport.
Cabo Verde (lit. ‘green cape’) is an island country of ten volcanic islands off the north west of the African continent and is associated with the better-known Madeira, Azores, and Canary Islands. It was colonised by the Portuguese in the 15th century and the colonial period, which ended in 1975 (together with Angola and Mozambique) is reflected in its population, a mixture of Portuguese, Moorish, Arab and African. It has no natural resources and its economy is based on services and tourism the support of which is a key pillar for the airline.
Washington is the second US destination for the organisation, the first being Boston. The routes are flown by two Boeing 757-200s and the airline will shortly receive two more, all of which are leased from Loftleidir. The Icelandic operator is a majority owner (51% of shares) of Cabo Verde Airlines and nominated a new CEO.
Other destinations in the route network are Dakar in Senegal, Lisbon in Portugal and Recife in Brazil.
Aside from the unusual relationship with Loftleidir, another curiosity is that during the apartheid era, South African Airways was forbidden to overfly Africa. The Flying Springbok stopped for refuelling on Sal Island for three hours, making a semi-welcome break in a 17-hour trip.