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Jasmin Airways obtains AOC

Posted 12 December 2019 · Add Comment

The new private Tunisian airline Jasmin Airways has obtained its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the national civil aviation authority. Acting Transport minister, René Trabelsi, told Anuradha Deenapanray Chappard that Tunisia will sign the Open Sky with the EU after Brexit.

Jasmin Airways has the capacity to cater for a wide range of services ; charter, serial, special flights, ACMI and private jet. To start with, the airline will offer short and medium-haul flights to countries in North Africa and the Middle East. It will fly to European destinations once it is granted all the required certification.

Jasmin Airways will operate mainly from Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport but also from Djerba-Zarzis Airport with two Embraer ERJ 170 of 76 seats.  The company has been renting its two aircraft to Tunisair Express for the past weeks. They are flying from Tunis Carthage Airport.

As CEO, Ali Ben Amara said, this ambitious project is the culmination of months of patience, a spirit of patriotism, a lot of determination and hardwork (the DNA of the family) especially in a complex economic environment. It was born out of a passion for aerospace and planes inherited from his father Abderrazak Ben Amara, himself an engineer, instructor, founder of Airways Flight Academy (AFA) in 1998 and retired Captain from Tunisair.

Today, AFA stands as a unique academy in Tunisia and Africa just like ESAT University set up by the family in 2003 to cater for the needs in aviation and air transport locally, within Africa and beyond, driven by an unflinching quest for excellence. Engineers and technicians follow high-level courses of international standard and get training on Airbus and Boeing simulators on the same site.

He also thanked the previous Transport minister, Hichem Ben Ahmed, Banque de Tunisie CEO Habib Ben Saad and the director of the Tunisian Civil Aviation, Habib Mekki, for their trust and support.

Habib Mekki welcomed a newborn company in the air transport sector which has gone through difficult times during the past decade. The project was born during the Jasmin Revolution which explains the hurdles which needed to be overcome to finally reach the AOC handing over ceremony.

Mekki recalled that its a "complexe process" as the airline must meet all ICAO recommendations and abide by the annexes of the Chicago Convention.  "Jasmin Airways meets all the recommendations and technical conditions regarding safety requirements, ground operation, flight and quality standards to operate as an airline", Mekki stated while handing the 6th AOC to a Tunisian company

He added that "privatisation will consolidate the Tunisian market" and that other companies will benefit from it.

The acting Transport and Tourism minister, René Trabelsi, told Times Aerospace that Tunisia will sign the Open Sky with the European Union (EU) next February.  "It will be done after Brexit." The new air space after the 31st of January 2020 will necessitate adjustments before sealing any agreement.

According to Trabelsi, there’s a need to enhance connectivity to support the tourism sector and support national economy.  "We need flexible and private companies to serve destinations like Marseille, Nice, Italy…. The Embraer aircraft are well-adapted to new route deployment. Connectivity will bring more tourists and help respond to growing demand. Tunisian companies should take the slots that are taken by foreign compagnies", he said.

He added that a wind of change is blowing over the air transport sector in Tunisia. "We will do our utmost to support companies like Jasmin Airways. There’s a place for Jasmin Airways in the international sky. "

This commitment is in direct line with the call from IATA and AFRAA urging governments to support air transport to trigger and sustain growth, create jobs, and enable African airlines to unleash their full potential.

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