Thursday, 19 November 2015

Interview: Henok Teferra, ASKY CEO

ASKY mulls Nigerian subsidiary in lieu of cabotage rights

West Africa's ASKY Airlines will consider setting up subsidiaries in large markets such as Nigeria if progress is not made in securing cabotage rights.

"The ideal is to have countries understand [the benefits of liberalisation] and create a single African market," chief executive Henok Teferra tells Flightglobal.

"But if that does not materialise, then there are other routes we would look at ... If we are not able to overcome these restrictions we have with traffic rights, we could establish for example an ASKY Nigeria so as to tap into the domestic market."

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Too far for comfort?

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WOW Air, an Icelandic low-cost carrier, will launch flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco next summer. The airline is the latest to bring the low-cost model to long-haul flying, as it tries to rekindle Reykjavik's historic role as a budget layover for flights between Europe and North America. WOW operated its first transatlantic flights this year, serving Boston and Washington Baltimore with a pair of narrow-body Airbus A321s. Having been profitable for the first nine months of 2015, Skuli Mogensen, the airline’s boss, says he has "proved the model works" and is now eager to scale up. WOW will also add two Canadian points, Toronto and Montreal, in spring 2016...

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Interview: Ken Choi, Jeju Air CEO

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page 34/35 & page 36

Located on the doorstep of Asia's two largest economies – China to the west, and Japan to the east – South Korea's low-cost carriers (LCCs) are hardly short of opportunities for overseas route development.

That is just as well given their less-than-dynamic home market. Eight out of ten domestic flights in the country either depart from or land in the southern island of Jeju – the only major destination not catered for by South Korea's high-speed rail network, KTX, which is the preferred mode of transport for many.

But while the wider region is awash with attractive leisure and business destinations, capitalising on their potential is not always straightforward...

Cham Wings the last hope for Syrian expats

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Cham Wings is filling the void left by Syria's troubled flag-carrier but, as Martin Rivers reports, it could face the same obstacles to long-term viability.

Syria's Cham Wings has announced the addition of Oman and Sudan to its route network, as the Damascus-based carrier plays an increasingly prominent role in the local aviation sector amid declining fortunes at state-owned Syrian Arab Airlines.

Twice weekly flights to Muscat were launched on 3 September, and at the time of writing a once weekly service to Khartoum was scheduled to begin on 16 October...

Doha down under

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Qatar Airways will double the number of destinations it serves in Australia next year, adding flights to Sydney in March and Adelaide in May as it tries to narrow the advantage currently enjoyed by the UAE's flag-carriers on connecting flights between Australia and Europe.

The Doha-based airline was a relative latecomer to Australia when it entered the market in 2009, launching its inaugural service two years after Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways and 13 years after Dubai's Emirates Airline. As a consequence, its existing daily flights to Melbourne and Perth account for just 8% of seating capacity available between the Gulf and Australia...

Kenya Airways in freefall?

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Kenya Airways posted the worst financial result in the corporate history of its home nation this summer, when it announced a full-year loss of 25.7 billion shillings ($254 million). Management at the flag-carrier, which was privatised in 1996 but is still 29.8% owned by the government, now face an uphill struggle in convincing politicians and the public that they deserve another shot at commercial viability.

The sheer scale of the losses – eight times deeper than the previous year – has prompted soul-searching in a country where 46% of the population lives below the poverty line. A Senate Select Committee is now pouring over the disastrous result, with some MPs openly calling for criminal proceedings against airline bosses.

However, while the prima facie evidence points to a series of strategic blunders, parliament's investigation has yet to uphold any of the allegations of corruption that have been bandied around by the press. In truth, Kenya Airways' predicament is far from unique in African aviation, and its commercial fortunes are at least partly influenced by external factors beyond the control of management...