COUNTRY Manager ASKY in Nigeria, Simon Mobalaji has said that the airline’s disposition towards the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is quite favourable as the policy been driven by the African Union through African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) aligns with the airline’s vision for Aviation in Africa.
This is just as he said has related the rapid growth and steadfastness of ASKY to its partnerships across Africa especially one with Ethiopian Airline which has allowed the airline better aircraft utilization, expansion into other markets and, synergy stating that no airline survives by being a ‘lone wolf’.
Mobalaji who granted an interview to Nigerianflightdeck at the sidelines of the 15TH Akwaaba Travel Market after his presentation explained that SAATM as a policy will help Africa integrate better and break down barriers that hinders progress in the region.
He said,” ASKY has been open and has embraced the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), a policy pursued under the auspices of the African Union. As part of the airline’s vision, we strive daily to provide excellent links between African countries. So you see, SAATM aligns with the airline’s vision for Aviation in Africa and we will continue to support this initiative as it is strategic to ensure all African capital cities are connected.
“Already, we have connected major capital cities in West and Central Africa and we believe it is time to take on the challenge to further expand beyond the Region and connect other cities, thereby breaking down the walls and barriers of trade and tourism.
On the airline partnerships he said they have helped the airline reach where it is and that ASKY will continue to seek out such partnership even if there have been some that did not work out as planned.
“We have achieved much progress due, on the one hand, to the solid cooperation between ASKY and Ethiopian Airlines, a partnership that has contributed immensely to ASKY’s continued growth and consolidation in West and Central Africa and has also been largely instrumental to the airline’s expansion into Southern Africa, and on the other hand, the commitment and dedication displayed time and again by management and staff of the airline to see it succeed. It has not been an easy ride especially considering that the airline has been through thick and thin these 9 years.
“One of ASKY’s strength is partnerships. We are here because of the kind of partnership we’ve forge with ET and we are unrelenting. We have also tried to enter into partnerships with Nigerian carriers because we believe it’s the best thing to do. Although some of them have not yielded desired results but we knew it was the way to go. Also, we have quite a number of codeshare agreements with airlines across Africa and are continuing to extend such agreements to other carriers outside of Africa.
“The Aviation Industry has gone past going it solo. You need to forge strong partnerships and alliances, leveraging your strengths and covering for each other in areas where challenges arise. With formidable partnerships, you are able to achieve better aircraft utilization, expand into other markets, synergize and leverage the strength of two for advancement, etc.
“I believe ASKY is not done with partnerships and will continue to work with other carriers, sharing common interests, building together, seeking new opportunities and expanding beyond the Region.
On why it forayed into Akwaaba, the ASKY Country Manager explained simply,” Majorly, its visibility and partnerships! ASKY Airlines needs to be seen and heard across the African continent. We are doing something unprecedented and this deserves to be known. Ethiopian Airlines and ASKY have forged a partnership that works and is an example worth emulating in Africa.
“I have met quite a number of participants here at AKWAABA who have praised the airline for its commitment towards connecting Africa and are willing to work with us to ensure we continue to do so. Others have also expressed interest in exploring more opportunities for mutually beneficial working relationships which I do not take for granted.
“If these relationships are birthed, they will place ASKY in a position whereby the airline is able to leverage such partnerships for a stronger presence in the Region and also allow the partners expand their tentacles to seemingly far flung areas in the Region. So you see why being here at AKWAABA means a lot to us?” He said.