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in Air Transport / Features

Jasmin on the scent of success with first E170

Posted 1 October 2019 · Add Comment

There was much joy and relief on June 20 when the first E170 for Tunisian private airline, Jasmin Airways, landed at Enfidha Airport. CEO, Ali Ben Amara, told Anuradha Deenapanray, that the company’s philosophy is based on excellence in air transport.

Ali Ben Amara and his team will finally be able to implement their development project focused on differentiation and complementarity.
They’ve been waiting impatiently to welcome ‘Amen’, the first of the two E170s leased from CIAF Leasing (Egypt).
The second aircraft was due to be delivered as Arabian Aerospace was going to press and the first charter flight was scheduled for mid-August.
“I am in a mindset geared towards development and progress, not a competitive one. We will operate charter flights from Enfidha and Djerba. Jasmin Airways will do what Tunisair doesn’t do and vice versa,” said Ben Amara.
A pilot, like his father, Ben Amara has grown up amidst aircraft. He has an open, pragmatic vision on air transport in Africa. “We want to be competitive and send a positive sign and image to the market through a new management model. We want to meet international-standard requirements with fully adapted aircraft. We have made a thorough market and pricing survey to offer the best deal to our clients,” he said.
He remains optimistic about the liberalisation of the Tunisian sky, plus the rest of Africa, in the wake of the single African air transport market (SAATM) agreement. “In five years, we will have a fully open sky in Tunisia.”
Jasmin Airways chose the E170, because it suits its business plan perfectly. The airline will serve eastern and western Europe, Italy, Bilbao and Prague to start with.
“For now, we need an aircraft with a range of between 50 minutes and two hours maximum,” explained the CEO.
“We can ensure financial profitability with an Embraer aircraft on the routes that Jasmin Airways will serve. We shall start with the E170 and a third aircraft will be delivered shortly (leased from Finnair). In four years, we will have the E190-E2 to consolidate and diversify our network.
“We hope to move to low-cost in November 2019. We are currently setting up a platform.”
Ben Amara is also an instructor and runs the Airline Flight Academy. The company was created by his father in 2013 after the revolution, which led to political instability in the country.
“We have a school for pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers (ATC) and a university (ESAT) which trains engineers,” said Ben Amara. “We have experience and we offer a school of excellence in Africa by exporting training. Subsequently, our students have the ability and the opportunity to work elsewhere.”
He insists on “quality training”, especially with technological innovation in the industry.
“The philosophy of Jasmin Airways is simple. We offer a complete training with three years’ experience. Pilots will have 1,000 flying hours on an Embraer aircraft with a three-year contract on Jasmin Airways,” he said.
MRO is also an essential topic, especially in Africa. Ben Amara is discussing a partnership with EgyptAir for a maintenance line in Tunis-Carthage.
The Jasmin Airways CEO also thinks it’s time for a new approach in air transport within the continent to develop intra-African connectivity.
“We need an efficient integration and cooperation between companies and suppliers regarding aircraft leasing, insurance, maintenance and a common fuel management system for the economic benefit of airlines. We should work together to set a pool for each of these activities,” he said.
Ben Amara supports a more liberalised economy, more private sector and foreign investments, better infrastructure, good governance, political stability and sustained peace to enable countries in the region to fully unlock their potential.
 

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