LOME- based operator, ASKY has said that Johannesburg, South Africa service which it commenced in July is a key market for the airline, stressing that it has been able to consolidate the route and needs to build on it further.
The airline made this known today while engaging with its trade partners in Lagos and getting feedback about the airline’s services.
Country Manager Nigeria Asky Airline, Mr. Simon Mobolaji; who played host to the airline’s partners said ASKY was expanding as it showed with its new aircraft acquisition stressing that beyond the region which it has consolidated, it has started its Jo’burg operations.
According to him its twice weekly flight from Nigeria to Johannesburg showed how much it wants to penetrate the continent.
He said,”The take-home from here especially from here is that Asky has launched into Johannesburg, South Africa and it is a key market for us. In the last two months, we have done everything to ensure that we continue to sustain the operations and passenger numbers. When we started in July, the direct service, we believed that the market is there despite the fact that we were facing challenges with visa issues but we have somehow been able to consolidate and we are pushing the market and we believe that with the forum we held today, our travel partners will be able to see the value addition that Asky is bringing into the market.
” We know we have competition but we believe that our products and services are top-notch for anyone who wants to fly to that destination.”
ASKY displayed some of its offering and sought information from trade partners on how to better grow the route network, be some of whom provided information needed to help grow the market for the carrier.
Speaking on aircraft deployment, Mobolaji said that ASKY, due to the demand and increased market share has had to phase out it’s Q400 Dash- 8 propeller aircraft, replacing it with the Next Gen, which it just took delivery of one more, registered in Lome.
Although he admitted that the aircraft change has increased it fuel consumption he said the airline’s traffic is growing and thus aircraft change is needed.
He said, “Yes it has increased our fuel usage but the mere fact that we are also able to provide customer satisfaction is also key and at the same time, that we are opening up West and Central Africa. The traffic is growing and the need is increasing. We cannot continue to run on the Q400 for long because people are clamouring for more and we also want to give them more.
” This is why we had phased out the Q400 Dash 8 series for the bigger Boeing 737.