Monrovia – After 26 years away from Liberia, the Regional Director of Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines has disclosed that the airline is back in the country and here to stay for good.
Speaking Thursday, April 20, 2017 at the official launch of the airline services in the country, Philippe Barbieri said the return of the airline means a lot to the country and its people.
The airlines left the country during the inception of the civil unrest which claimed human capital and infrastructures leaving the country in a shattering state.
Barbieri said based on the receptions from Liberians and others in the country since the arrival of the first flight on March 26, 2017, it showed that Liberians were waiting for them.
“We are back because for us it is an important event towards Sierra Leone and Monrovia. We are a group of two big airlines, KLM and Air France.”
“Monrovia is part of a big family of 51 destinations in Africa,” Barbieri said.
According to the KLM Regional Director for Liberia, Sierra Leon, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Senegal, he is very confident that the new weekly air travel or service will bring positive benefits to Liberia.
Barbieri noted that with the friendly environment of Amsterdam airport, travelers from Liberia will easily be able to connect to any distinctions in Europe, Americas, Asia and other parts of the world.
“It will contribute to the speedy economic growth of Liberia from this moment,” he added.
Although the airline started flight operations to Liberia on March 26, 2017, Barbieri disclosed that there has been tremendous encouragement.
“After few weeks of operations, we have reached 70% and for the coming weeks until June, we expect to reach 78%.”
“This is in accordance with our business skill and what we are expecting.”
“People are coming and using KLM to fly to Europe and other areas,’ he indicated.
The flight is said to operate three times a week; Wednesday, Friday and Sunday between Amsterdam, Freetown and Monrovia and Amsterdam respectively.
He said the resumption means Liberia has a very good potential of clients to Northern Europe and the United States.
“KLM is good for this kind of traffic. ”
“This is why we chose Liberia. KLM Airlines serves 51 routes in Africa and so there is a huge traffic, seven new destinations in Africa for AirFrance-KLM in 2007.”
“We are back in Africa. If we are back, that means there is potential,” he added.
The Royal Dutch Airlines plans to expand its African network and will compete with other world class airlines.
Ozow partners FlySafair to improve air travel access for millions of South Africans
Thomas Pays, Co-Founder and CEO of Ozow
A new partnership between digital payments company Ozow and leading local airline FlySafair is making it easier than ever for South Africans to purchase flight tickets.
According to Ozow co-founder and CEO Thomas Pays, the vast majority of South Africans have no credit cards and require alternative means of purchasing goods and services online. “There are more than 49 million bank accounts but only eight million active credit cards in South Africa. This poses the threat of locking millions out of digital and financial services. As an impact-driven and market-led company, Ozow is at the forefront of developing products, services and partnerships that enable greater digital and financial inclusion for all consumers and businesses. The partnership with South Africa’s most innovative and consumer-friendly airline is one more step toward this goal.”
Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, says: “We’ve always respected the need to offer customers without credit cards various options to make payments both online and offline. We’re pleased to have partnered with Ozow who offer a safe, reliable and easy-to-use option for our customers.”
While airlines have been grounded and air travel limited since lockdown was first implemented in March 2020, South Africans generally love to fly. In 2017 alone, the Airports Company of South Africa tracked more than 40 million passengers traveling through the country’s nine largest airports.
Pays adds that the two companies share a commitment to ensure their services are accessible to all South Africans. “As a business, we work to break down barriers that keep more consumers from enjoying the benefits of digital payments. Cash remains the most expensive and least secure method of payment, but most South Africans still rely on cash payments for most of their purchases. By partnering with likeminded, consumer-led businesses such as FlySafair, we can accelerate the decashing of the South African economy and bring digital and financial empowerment to all South Africans.”
iFly Aviation Takes Young Aviators And STEM Program To Uganda
Kampala, Uganda: iFly is an aviation enterprise which is dedicated to bridging the gap between industry and community through inclusive youth empowerment programs. Our core focus is social innovation in Aviation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and driving our initiatives alongside key stakeholders in order to facilitate and enable the next generation.
Our purpose is to elevate learners by empowering them, motivating and giving insight into opportunities that exist within the aviation industry and educating them along the way. As part of our efforts to drive our initiatives across Africa as to create a pan African movement, we have recently launched our programs in Uganda, this being the second country after South Africa.
We hosted our first event at Nakasero secondary school in Uganda, to the delight of over 200 students. They were exposed to motivational talks including insights into aviation and its various opportunities. We had a flight simulator session where the students got exposed to a computer based flight simulator in order to see and learn first hand what happens in the cockpit during flight.
The event was also complimented by a first of its kind engine building project, an initiative of the Rolls Royce STEM program. Through this workshop, students got to build a 3D model Trent engine, the likes of which powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350, 2 of the most popular wide body airliners in the world.
Our goal a to have such programs running across the continent and we would Like to invite any like minded and passionate people across Africa to join us as ambassadors and adopt iFly STEM under our blue print in their respective countries. We sincerely appreciate our ambassadors in Uganda for pulling off a successful first event. David Ssenkungu, Derrick Talemwa, Peter Mwesigwa and Hosea Datari.
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SAA to address CEO Vuyani Jarana’s resignation, outline future plans
Picture: ANA/Ayanda Ndamane.
JOHANNESBURG – The board of South African Airways (SAA) and its executive management will on Friday take the nation into their confidence about the state-owned airline’s current and future plans in light of Vuyani Jarana’s resignation as CEO.
In a terse statement on Thursday, the leadership of the airline said it would like to put certain matters into perspective and assure its customers, the markets and stakeholders about business continuity and commitment to the implementation of the airline strategy.
Jarana tendered his resignation last week as group chief executive, citing the airline’s mounting debt due to uncertainty about funding and lack of support from government as a shareholder in implementing the airline’s long-term turnaround strategy.
In his leaked resignation letter, Jarana said that a big chunk of the R5 billion bailout SAA received from government for the 2018/19 financial year had been used to pay creditors up to the end of March 2018, to the point that the airline on three occasions was on the brink of not paying salaries.
“We have not been able to obtain any further funding commitment from government, making it difficult to focus on the execution of the strategy,” Jarana said.
“I spend most of my time dealing with liquidity and solvency issues. Lack of commitment to fund SAA, is systematically undermining the implementation of the strategy, making it increasingly difficult to succeed.”
The board of SAA accepted Jarana’s resignation, saying that he had spearheaded the implementation of the long-term strategy to return the airline to financial and operational sustainability and position it to deliver effectively on its mandate since he joined the airline in November 2017.
But workers under the SA Cabin Crew Association have slammed the airline for making Jarana’s life difficult, saying that he had, through consultation and transparency, managed to get the buy in of cabin crew at SAA into the long term turnaround strategy and his clear plan to revive the carrier’s fortunes.
The workers have even threatened to go on strike to have Jarana reinstated as SAA chief executive.
African News Agency (ANA)