Democratic Republic of the Congo

Country facts

Market overview

The aviation market in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) presents a unique set of characteristics and challenges, shaped by the country’s vast geographical area, diverse terrain, and the socio-economic context. As the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the DRC’s reliance on air transportation is heightened due to its limited road and rail infrastructure. This makes air travel a critical component for both passenger and cargo transportation across its expansive and often remote territories. 

The DRC’s aviation sector is served by a mix of domestic and international airlines. The national carrier, Congo Airways, plays a significant role in domestic connectivity, offering flights to major cities and some regional destinations. However, the market also sees a notable presence of smaller, local airlines that often operate older aircraft and are vital in providing connectivity to remote regions of the country. 

The aviation sector in the DRC faces several challenges, such as high operating costs owing to the reliance on imported aviation fuel and the maintenance of aging aircraft. These impact the affordability and frequency of air services. Efforts are also underway to improve safety standards, including upgrading airport facilities and enhancing regulatory oversight. 

International connectivity is primarily centered around N’djili Airport in Kinshasa, the capital city. Major African and some international airlines operate flights to and from Kinshasa, linking the DRC to regional hubs and beyond. The country’s other international airports, such as those in Lubumbashi and Kisangani, also offer flight connections, but on a smaller scale. 

The aviation market in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a sector with immense potential but also one that faces considerable challenges. The need for infrastructure development, improved safety measures, and regulatory improvements is critical for the future growth of this market. With the right investments and reforms, the aviation sector in the DRC could become a key driver of economic growth and regional connectivity in Central Africa. 

Marilyn Nel

Regional Managing Partner

Marilyn is a seasoned finance professional with a wealth of experience and expertise in the aviation sector. With nearly three decades of experience in finance and accounting, Marilyn has a proven track record of managing complex financial operations and driving business performance.

Marilyn began her career in finance as a management accounting professional at Air Namibia, where she quickly established herself as a top performer. She rose through the ranks to become the Senior Manager in charge of Financial Accounting and Management Accounting at the airline, where she was responsible for managing the company’s financial operations and providing strategic financial guidance to the executive team.

As also the Global Financial Controller of AirlinePros, Marilyn is responsible for overseeing the company’s global financial operations, including financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis. She works closely with other senior leaders to develop financial strategies that support the company’s goals and objectives.