|Commenced operations||1 April 1949|
|Hubs||Tunis-Carthage International Airport|
|Key people||Elyes Mnakbi (CEO)|
Société Tunisienne de l'Air, or Tunisair (Arabic: ) is the flag carrier airline of Tunisia. Formed in 1948, it operates scheduled international services to four continents. Its main base is Tunis-Carthage International Airport. The airline's head office is in Tunis, near Tunis Airport. Tunisair is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.
The carrier was formed by the government of Tunisia as Société Tunisienne de l'Air in late 1948. The initial investment was FRF 60 million, with shareholding split between the government (35%), Air France (35%) and another interests (30%). Air France transferred some of its DC-3s and routes (which included Tunis-Bone-Algiers, Tunis-Ajaccio-Nice, Tunis-Bastia-Nice, Tunis-Rome and a cargo flight between Tunis and Marseilles) to the new airline for it to start operations; these commenced on 1 April 1949 . The first managing director of the company was Rene Lefevre.
The route network was expanded along the coast during the early 1950s. In 1951, Casablanca, Ghudamis and Tripoli were incorporated as destinations. In May that year, a Tunis-Tripoli-Sabhah service was launched; it was routed via Sfax and Djerba in September. The Ghudamis route was terminated in 1952, and the Casablanca run was taken over by Air France the same year. In 1953, the service to Marseilles was extended to Paris. In 1954, a Douglas DC-4 was leased from Air France and used on the route to Paris. At March 1955 , the fleet comprised three Douglas DC-3s, one Douglas DC-4 and a SNCASE Languedoc. During 1955, the carrier transported 92,344 passengers. At year end, the number of employees was 140. The airline had a revenue of £620,000 for 1955, and costs totalled to £550,000. In 1957 the Tunisian government became the largest shareholder (51%) and the stake held by Air France was reduced to 15%.
The carrier took delivery of its first jet-powered aircraft, a Sud Caravelle III, on 31 August 1961. A new service to Frankfurt was inaugurated in October but it was terminated in March the following year due to poor economical performance. A second Caravelle was ordered in 1963 and entered service in March 1964 . In cooperation with Lufthansa, flights to Frankfurt were restarted in April 1966 using Caravelle equipment. The Nord 262 was first put into service in 1969. The introduction of this aircraft into the fleet along with the airline already having two Caravelles in operation allowed the carrier to phase out a DC-3 and two DC-4s.
The number of employees had grown to 888 by March 1970Cessna 402s, a DC-3 and a Nord 262, which were used on domestic services and international routes to Algeria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands,[nb 1]Italy, Libya, Morocco and Switzerland. Tunis Air took delivery of its first Boeing aircraft, a Boeing 727-200, on 12 March 1972; it was put on service on the Tunis-Paris run. On 1 April 1972 , a Boeing 707 that was leased from Sabena inaugurated the Tunis-London link. The same day, new services to Luxembourg and Jeddah were launched. Late in the year, a second Boeing 727s was ordered for delivery in July 1973 . In 1973, a third Boeing 727 was ordered for handover in December that year. A fourth and fifth 727 were ordered in 1974 and 1975. The gradual incorporation of the Boeing 727s permitted Tunisair to replace the Caravelles and to retire the remaining DC-3s.. At this time, they had four Caravelles, two
For the first time in its history, in 1995 the carrier started trading its shares at the Tunis stock exchange when 20% of the stake was floated. Ahmed Smaoui took over as president and director general of the company in March 1997 . In January 1999 , Abdelmalek Larifthe became the new president. Also in 1999, flights to Amman and Beirut were. At April 2000 the airline had 7259 employees. At this time the fleet comprised one Airbus A300B4-200, two Airbus A319-100s, ten Airbus A320-200s, four Boeing 727-200 Advanced, three Boeing 737-200 Advanced, four Boeing 737-500s and three Boeing 737-600s that served the following destinations: Abu Dhabi, Algiers, Amman, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Beirut, Berlin, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Cairo, Casablanca, Copenhagen, Dakar, Damascus, Djerba, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Gafsa, Geneva, Graz, Hamburg, Istanbul, Jeddah, Lille, Linz, Lisbon, London, Luxembourg, Lyon, Madrid, Malta, Marseille, Milan, Monastir, Munich, Nice, Nouakchott, Palermo, Paris, Prague, Rome, Salzburg, Sfax, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Tabarka, Toulouse, Tozeur, Tunis, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich.
In 2007, Nabil Chettaoui was appointed as chief executive officer (CEO). In June 2011, Hamadi Thamri replaced Chettaoui as president and CEO of the company. In July the same year, Moscow was first served by the carrier with flights to Domodedovo Airport. The airline's first transatlantic service, Tunis-Montreal, was launched in July 2016 .
The company is 74% owned by the Tunisian government. As of December 2016 the CEO is Colonel Elyes Mnakbi, who was appointed by the Ministry of Transport, replacing Mrs Sarra Rejeb, who became head of the SNCFT.
Annual reports for Tunisair do not appear to be regularly published; figures can also appear to be inconsistent in industry and press reports. Figures for the Airline (as opposed to the Group) seem to be as shown below (as at year ending 31 December):
|Turnover (TND m)||1,130||1,147||1,114||857||995||1,280|
|Net profit (TND m)||33||60||-125.8||-205.3||-196.6|
|Number of employees||3,709||3,747||3,579||3,765|
|Number of passengers (m)||3.7||3.2||3.8||3.7||3.5||2.8||3.0||3.5|
|Passenger load factor (%)||70.5||71.8|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||29||29||29|
The Tunisair fleet consists of the following aircraft, as of March 2017:
Tunisair became the first Airbus A319 customer in both the Arab World and Africa when it ordered three aircraft in October 1997, along with four Airbus A320s. Another order followed the same year when the carrier acquired four Boeing 737-600s that were initially slated for delivery starting in May 1999 . The airline took options on three more aircraft but the specific variants were not informed at that time. The aircraft included in both orders were aimed at replacing the ageing Boeing 727s and 737s in the airline fleet. The company took delivery of its first A319 in August 1998 . Tunisair subsequently added three more Boeing 737-600s, taking delivery of the seventh one in April 2001 .
Two second-hand General Electric CF6-powered Airbus A300-600R were purchased in 2000; A third aircraft of the type joined the fleet in 2001. An extended range A319 was ordered in 2006. In July 2008 , Tunisair ordered three Airbus A350 XWBs, along with three Airbus A330-200s and ten Airbus A320s. The order was partially amended in mid-2013, when the airline cancelled the order for the A350. The airline took delivery of its first Airbus A330-200 in June 2015 . The Airbus order was amended again in 2016, removing an A330 and four A320s and including four Airbus A320neos.
Most recent of the Nord 262s to enter service is that of Tunis Air.
Tunis Air took delivery of a 727-200 on March 12--the airline's first Boeing.
A second Boeing 727-200 has been ordered by Tunis Air for delivery in July 1973. The airline's first 727 went into service on the Tunis-Paris route last March.
The Tunis Air 707--leased from Sabena--which inaugurated a once weekly Tunis-London service on April 1.
Tunis Air has ordered a fourth Advanced 727-200 for delivery in December.
Tunis Air has purchased an Advanced 727-200 to add to its existing fleet of three. Delivery will be in December this year.
Tunis Air has purchased its fifth 727-200 for handover in November.
Tunis Air has ordered a fifth Boeing 727-200.
Tunisia's transport ministry has named Nabil Chettaoui as Tunisair's new chief executive, replacing Youssef Neji.
Tunisair has begun its first transatlantic service with 2X-weekly Tunis-Montreal with Airbus A330-200s.
Tunisair took delivery of its first of three CFM International CFM56-powered Airbus A319s during August.
Tunisair has purchased two ex-Emirates Airbus A300-600Rs that had been traded back to the manufacturer. One of the two General Electric CF6-powered aircraft has been delivered, the second is due later this year.