in Features

Embraer targets the huge opportunity in Africa

Posted 5 September 2019 · Add Comment

The Embraer Airline Business Seminar Africa 2019, held in Mauritius at the beginning of April, kept all its promises. The Brazilian manufacturer, which has recently partnered with Boeing, sees Africa as a market with a “huge potential”. Anuradha Deenapanray reports.

The African aviation and air transport market, which is among the fastest growing, “presents significant opportunities for airlines to deliver the connectivity that the whole continent needs”, according to Arjan Meijer, chief commercial officer, Embraer Commercial Aviation.
“Aircraft, however, must be right-sized to develop those routes profitably; more than 90% of intra-African flights depart with fewer than 150 passengers. And more than 70% of markets are served with less than one flight per day.”
According to Raul Villaron, VP Middle East & Africa, by redefining the traditional concept of regional aircraft, Embraer offers Africa the “ideal aircraft” to face the connectivity problem while meeting the growing demand in this expanding market.
As engines and avionics are becoming more sophisticated and complex, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) is a big challenge. During the past years, Embraer has been strengthening its support in Africa (new training facilities in South Africa) and the Middle East.
Last April, it signed a pool programme agreement with Air Botswana to support a wide range of repairable components for its E170s.
The seminar enabled airline specialists and aviation experts to share ideas, experiences, strengthen their network and improve their business in a competitive environment.
Airline business is a very capital-intensive industry and, therefore, companies need to respond efficiently to growing demand through aircraft acquisition. In Asia Pacific, 43% of aircraft are leased against 40% in Europe and only 23% in Africa.
Volker Muenster, VP marketing – NAC (the largest regional aircraft leaser) said Africa should look into leasing to re-fleet and modernise. He added that, in such a risky business, there’s a need to consider the actual cost of equity in a company’s analysis.
According to Marc Abraham from Investec, a good balance or mix between leasing and purchase can be interesting for airline growth. African airlines – especially private ones – are turning more and more towards leasing.
The future of limited liability companies (LLCs) in the air transport ecosystem was also addressed through shared experiences and success stories. Ogaga Udjo, head of network planning, scheduling & alliances with Comair and Kulula, showed how efficiency and consistency are important components of a customer-centric strategy to leverage on a brand.
Looking at island operations, panellists pointed out that specifics of island economies needed to be taken into consideration as they had particular challenges regarding air access and open sky, connectivity, oil prices, investment, infrastructure, services and market expectations. Nick Fadugba, CEO of African Aviation Services, said that island states and landlocked countries realised the importance of the weight of aviation in their gross domestic product (GDP).
With more than 200 aircraft flying in Africa and 2,000-plus worldwide (120 airlines in more than 60 countries), the Brazilian manufacturer is the leader in the up-to-150 seats segment, with 29% share of deliveries.
As innovation and technology underpin customer expectations, development strategies and services, there are growing challenges facing industry stakeholders to enhance security. Key elements to embrace sustainable growth are adaptability, efficiency, competitiveness, cooperation and partnership.
Aaron Munetsi, GM, South African Airways, noted: “We are better off working together and not competing with each other. Africa should be the hub.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Iraq repatriation flight returns South Africans home

CemAir has welcomed 80 South Africans home from Iraq and Jordan on a special repatriation flight which touched down at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday morning.

Emirates to resume flights to Dar es Salaam

Emirates will resume services to Dar es Salaam from August 1.

New cabin enhancements for the Praetor 500 and 600

Embraer has made a series of cabin enhancements for its Praetor 500 midsize and Praetor 600 super-midsize business jets.

Kenya Airways to lay off significant number of staff

Following the impact of Covid-19 struggling airline Kenya Airways has announced plans to lay off an uncertain but significant number of employees.

It’s official…MEBAA 2020 is set to go ahead!

With the recent COVID-19 outbreak it’s been particularly challenging for the aviation sector in many ways, including major aviation events being cancelled. So, it’s great news to hear that The MEBAA 2020 Show is set to go ahead in

IATA: Travellers are taking precautions

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released public opinion research showing a willingness to travel being tempered by concerns over the risks of catching COVID-19 during air travel.

See us at