Monday, 12 August 2019

How bitcoin is taking flight with Norwegian Air


Full article on forbes.com

When Norwegian Air Shuttle launched budget flights to America in 2013, it forced the airline industry to look again at a market segment dismissed by many pundits as commercially fanciful: low-cost long-haul flying.

Six years on, it’s hard to say whether the gamble has paid off. The airline’s balance sheet is weaker than when it only served short-haul markets. Early competitors like WOW Air and Primera Air have collapsed. Yet Norwegian’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners still criss-cross the Atlantic daily – holding their own against a new breed of low-cost long-haul services run by Europe’s legacy carriers.

The decision by Norwegian’s founder, Bjørn Kjos, to relinquish financial and managerial control of the company has meanwhile put a younger generation of executives – including his son, Lars Ola Kjos – in charge of strategic planning.

And their opening gambit appears no less ambitious or transformative than the elder Kjos’s foray into long-haul operations...

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Interview: Ahmed Adel, EgyptAir Chairman


Full article in PDF format: page 22-24 & cover

Like any state-owned flag carrier, EgyptAir’s fortunes are tied inexorably to those of its home nation. That has translated to heavy losses and weak demand in recent years as the country was buffeted by successive waves of political and security unrest.

Two devastating air disasters – the bombing of Metrojet Flight 9268 and the still unexplained crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 – only added to the airline’s troubles.

However, with improved security and renewed investment under President Abdel Fattah el Sisi, optimism is rising on to the streets of Cairo.

Large-scale projects like the Grand Egyptian Museum and a new high-speed rail network are fuelling hopes of a happier future – one in which both locals and foreigners can travel across this ancient land without fear of violence or persecution...

Interview: Naji Majdalani, Wings of Lebanon CEO


Full article in PDF format

As a charter carrier with just one aircraft on its registry, Wings of Lebanon rarely gets the media attention that is afforded to larger, better known airlines in the Middle East.

The company has found itself in the spotlight only twice in recent memory – and management would happily forget both instances.

In 2016, a Boeing 737 carrying the Wings name was photographed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. The sighting sparked outrage in a country that officially remains at war with the Jewish state, and whose leaders are deeply paranoid about Israeli intelligence operations.

Then, last year, Wings had its European Union licence suspended after regulators flagged a series of apparent shortcomings in its flight training and aircraft maintenance processes...