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ASKY mulls partnership with Nigerian airlines

Pan African airline, ASKY said it plans to partner with the local Nigerian operators to have commercial agreements to connect the traffic from all the geopolitical zones of Nigeria and feed ASKY either in Abuja or Lagos.

The carrier hinted that doing so would help it to penetrate the vast network within the continent of Africa.

The Chief Executive Officer of the airline, WoldeMariam Hailu while speaking on various issues about the carrier and aviation in the country stated that the Nigerian government, the Nigerian Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and the Nigerian travel agency community, are very good partners and regulators to work with, stressing that ASKY feels very much at home in Nigeria, as it is an African brand.

He said, “Nigeria is the leader of Africa in many contexts. It is number one;  it is the largest African population and it is the biggest economy. It has the largest aviation traffic, and the traveling public is highly mobile. The traffic of more than 230 million population; very young population, highly mobile.

“So, ASKY is highly desirous to serve the Nigerian public as it continues to do right now. Nigeria is a very good host. Number one, the Nigerian customers are patronizing ASKY and ASKY is fulfilling its promise to the Nigerian public by serving Abuja and Lagos”.

ASKY was established in the year 2010 and now it is 13 years young and is a profitable airline. It is not only profitable in terms of economics, but it is also profitable in terms of fulfilling its vision and mission of connecting West, Central, South, East Africa with each other and connecting people and goods, and cultures. So, it is profitable in all dimensions.

As an African airline, it is a private commercial company owned by shareholders. Of course, Ethiopian Airlines is part of the shareholders. But ASKY has got its own board, its own network. ASKY and Ethiopian Airlines have a very beautiful commercial relationship. They feed each other. They have shares.

They have a special corporate agreement. Because Ethiopian Airlines is the bigger brand, ASKY being associated with Ethiopian Airlines has given ASKY a very good commercial dividend. Otherwise, ASKY is a company of its own, with its own shareholders, and with its own board. So, it’s an independent commercial company.

Speaking of how to cost costs in a very competitive airline business, Hailu stated that ASKY is endeavoring to remain profitable because it strictly controls its middle line, the cost, hinting that it has a high regiment of cost control.

“Because of that, it makes profits. That helps ASKY to plow back part of the profit as an incentive to the travelling public to produce a single unit cost of available seat-kilometer, a single seat on the aircraft to be produced at the minimum cost to be able to sell it. That is how Asky struggles to be profitable.

The carrier said it is considering the American route which he accepted would be a big leap but one he said requires big wide-body airplanes to operate.

“Right now, we are serving the US route seven times a week to Newark and three times a week to Washington DC in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines. ASKY is putting its commercial hub on Ethiopian Airlines-operated flights. So ASKY flights can be sold to America right now in cooperation with the culture of Ethiopian Airlines. But in the future, that is also one of our targets”, he added.

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