African airlines have been urged to make the most of partnership models in the industry to maximise limited resources, equipment and untapped potential of the sector.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of the Cape Verde Islands’ national carrier, Cabo Verde Airlines, Jens Bjarnason, yesterday said with interline and codeshare agreements could the airlines fully earn the gains of the African market, and grow both air travel and tourism industries.
Recall that the continent, with a total of 62 airlines, 419 airports and 817 aircraft could only account for 88 million passengers in 2018. Meanwhile, estimates have it that 80 per cent of the African passengers is owned by non-African airlines.
Bjarnason told The Guardian in Lagos that one of the ways of collaboration was not to make the African business environment more difficult than it ought to be, and also welcome cooperation with foreign regulations, especially Europe that has a well developed regulatory environment.
He added that Cabo Airlines, which is due to begin Lagos operations in December, had put the collaboration and strategic business plan at the forefront of its operations.
The president said talks were still on towards interlining with a local airline to further deepen the connectivity of Lagos and Sal, to other cities like Washington DC, Boston, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Paris, Luanda, Dakar, Recife, Porto Alegre, Salvador and Fortaleza.
“The mission of this African airline and the strategy is to be an international connecting airline. We feel very strongly that we must have Nigeria as part of this network. Nigeria in terms of population, economic activity and concentration of businesses are really key.
“I feel very strongly that we cannot be a strong player in West Africa without a heavy presence in Nigeria. So, we commence with five times a week flights on our Boeing 757-200 from Lagos to Sal immediately, to make our presence felt,” he said.
Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Cabo Verde airlines, Raul Andrade, said West Africa is in strategic position to own air travel across the Atlantic Ocean, especially travelling between Africa, Europe and Americas.
Country Manager, Cabo Verde Airlines, Tariye Orianzi, said the airline would be targeting African entrepreneurs, leisure and business travellers as well as world travellers with competitive pricing and offers, including a Cape Verde stopover programme at no additional ticket costs.
By Wole Oyebade