ASKY Airlines: Translating a vision into reality

Mar 30, 2009

The imminent launch of flight services by ASKY Airlines presents a unique opportunity for the parties involved to translate their vision of a successful joint venture airline in Africa into reality

ASKY, a multinational private airline initiative spearheaded by Gervais Koffi Djondo, intends to develop a West African hub in Lomé, Togo, to provide regional and international air services. Notably, the airline venture is backed by investors from West Africa, South Africa and Ethiopia. 

ASKY will face many challenges. However, a key factor in its favour is that it has won the support of Ethiopian Airlines which has taken a 25% equity stake in the start-up airline and signed a five-year management contract with ASKY. The involvement of Ethiopian Airlines will provide the new venture with valuable experience and expertise in the highly competitive airline business, as well as important credibility. 

Nonetheless, the success of this new airline venture cannot be taken for granted. ASKY Airlines will have to work hard to avoid the pitfalls which led to the demise of various other airline joint ventures and alliances in Africa, such as East African Airways, Air Afrique and Alliance Air. According to Professor Rigas Doganis, the well-known international aviation expert and industry commentator, for airline joint ventures and alliances to succeed several criteria are necessary. For example, the parties involved need a common long-term vision and shared objectives. They need to assess and quantify the benefits and costs of the venture. Cultural affinity and management styles are also important, and an efficient mechanism to quickly resolve disputes is vital. As ASKY Airlines prepares to take to the skies, a genuine spirit of trust and goodwill among the partners is essential for success.


– By Nick Fadugba
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