France's Corsair to start Paris-Dakar flights in December

DAKAR, Oct 3 (Reuters) - French airline Corsair International will start direct flights between Paris and Senegal's capital Dakar in December, ending Air France's

monopoly on the route and paving the way for lower fares, the company said on Wednesday.

Senegal, a former French colony on Africa's west coast, is a popular destination for European tourists and is seeking to bolster its reputation as a regional business hub.

"We will offer tickets at very competitive prices and excellent value," Corsair President Pascal de Izaguirre said late on Tuesday after meeting with Senegal President Macky Sall, who was elected in March.

Corsair, France's second-biggest airline behind Air France, had been denied permission by Senegal's previous government to fly the route regularly.

The company said that it plans to operate four flights a week from December between France's Orly airport and Dakar, increasing that to five flights a week in January, priced at about 600 euros ($780) for a return ticket.

Corsair carries 1.3 million passengers a year on its flights to the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and parts of Africa. ($1 = 0.7731 euros)

(Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by David Goodman)

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