National Airways has hired Afri Aviation Consulting Company with the goal of expanding its aviation businesses in response to changes in government policy.
The company has been in the aviation business for 11 years providing chartered service. Abera Lemi (Capt), founder and head of the company said that it was very difficult for them to be successful in the private sector.
“We appreciate consulting companies that can help us navigate the changing political and economic environment,” he said.
Previously private companies were not allowed to compete with continental giant Ethiopian Airlines.
About a year ago the ruling party decided to partly or fully privatize state owned companies including Ethiopian Airlines, which will provide limited shares to private investors.
Afri Aviation Consulting was formed by Ethiopian aviation experts. They work with the leaders of large airlines in the Gulf and Africa. Currently they are helping them with their vision 2025.
“Aviation has strict standards regarding safety, profitability, growth. There is no chance to learn from your failure, so airlines need highly qualified experts to consult them,” Abera said. Aviation is a knowledge-based industry that can’t compromise safety while keeping their standard working culture. The major challenge in the past was aviation policy. However now that is changing.
“The change be good for us, the country’s aviation sector and the tourist flow. It will help the country to become a transportation hub,” the airway founder said.
Daniel Hailu, partner and one of the founders of Afri Aviation, said that the people who started the company have decades of experience. They have formed the consultancy firm to provide support. He said the company secured the license five years ago from the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and has a lot of knowhow including consultancy work for The African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) on policy framework and implementation of the Single Africa Air Transport service signed by African leaders a year ago.
Daniel, who was a leader at Ethiopian Airlines for 14 years before moving to Abu Dhabi at Ethad where he was a manager for another 14 years, said that Afri Aviation has agreed with National Airways to increase the air transport company’s business. The plan to implement scheduled flights in addition to their current charter operation.
“It takes a long time to expand the flight operation in the country and in the region,” Daniel said. “Aviation needs adequate finance and skills so growing is a process,” he added. The disciple of the founders of Afri Aviation is comprised from strategic planning, legal, human resources, fleet planning, maintenance and other aviation expertise, according to one of the founders. “We will provide support on aircraft flight arrangements, schedule flight development, human resources arrangement, finance reports and aircraft financing,” he explained National Airways also has a sister company called National Aviation Academy that provides training in aviation and tourism up to a degree level.
Yesterday, 131 students graduated including 71 who trained in the hotel management degree program under the National Aviation Academy, which is working in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) AND Institute of Commercial Management.