Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

    The Blue Swan Daily brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know.

    National Air Services CEO Hassan El-Houry on Africa:

    • “Africa is fragmented. However, Africa has a very high urbanisation rate. Today Africa has three, or four, or five mega cities. In 10 years that’s going to be about 15 mega cities. The potential for exports from Africa… the potential for tourists from Africa is tremendous”.
    • “Airport infrastructure in most African countries is outdated and not built to serve the growing volume of passengers or cargo. Airlines and airports are often managed by government entities or regulatory bodies. Foreign investment is discouraged”. He added: “Modernising infrastructure and operations requires both investment and expertise, ideally from public-private partnerships. Africa needs to open its doors for private capital investment”.

    airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss on the carrier’s main target for 2019 which is to continue “successful growth”:

    “We will be adding eight A220s this year to our fleet, having a total of 22 by the end of this year. We will again have significant growth on the passenger side. Similar to last year, we want to grow about 20%”.

    Flybe Christine Ourmieres-Widener CEO commenting on Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital details of their planned takeover of Flybe:

    “The industry is suffering from higher fuel costs, currency fluctuations and significant uncertainties presented by Brexit. We have been affected by all of these factors which has put pressure on short-term financial performance. At the same time, Flybe suffered from a number of legacy issues that are being addressed but are still adversely affecting cashflows. By combining to form a larger, stronger, group, we will be better placed to withstand these pressures”.

    fastjet CEO Nico Bezuidenhout on the temporary suspension of services by fastjet Tanzania in Dec-2018:

    “From our perspective, there are alternative growth markets available on the continent and, in the short term, we see a better use of funding”.

    fastjet Tanzania director Hein Kaiser said:

    “fastjet is a great brand, and we have no immediate plans to change anything. After this hiatus, we fully intend to resume operations, particularly considering that in December, we were awarded eight additional routes, including Kigoma”. Mr Kaiser said the suspension “gives us time to unpack the challenges we inherited”.

    Aero Contractors CEO Ado Sanusi said the Nigerian airline industry “needs a kind of reorganisation”:

    “Despite the fact that the passenger growth has increased, but the amount of aircraft operating in the country has reduced… the aviation industry is not growing. The aviation industry actually is shrinking”. Mr Sanusi suggested: “I think in 2019 the government must affect deliberate policy not only on the infrastructure but also in the airlines. This means that the federal government should look at the airport, runways and also look at the health of the airlines and try and see how they can encourage mergers, encourage new entrant and encourage bringing back to life those that have gone under”.