African airlines need to be innovative in their approach to financing, post-Covid

TAAG Angola Airlines CEO, Eduardo Fairen and a delegate at the 31st African Aviation Summit. Picture: Supplied

TAAG Angola Airlines CEO, Eduardo Fairen and a delegate at the 31st African Aviation Summit. Picture: Supplied

Published May 17, 2023


Leaders in the African aviation industry met under the theme Air Finance Strategies for Recovery and Growth at the 31st African Aviation Summit, which took place from the 10th May to May 12th 2023, at Sandton Convention Centre’s Bill Gallagher Room in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The meeting heard that one of the most significant changes for airlines post-Covid is the increased reliance on government aid and loans, with only limited government grants available in Africa, meaning that African airlines increasingly need to be inventive in their approach to financing.

TAAG CEO Eduardo Fairen attended the meeting and also shared his insights on innovative air finance strategies for African aviation players.

Fairen highlighted the critical role that TAAG plays as an international connector linking South Africa to Latin America, Europe, and West Africa via the Luanda hub, as well as the company's growing cargo business in the South African market.

He also touched on the debate over state-owned versus privatised airlines, which has been an ongoing topic in the aviation industry for many years. This discussion is of particular importance to airlines operating in Africa, as the majority of them are state-owned.

The CEO of TAAG Angola Airlines also discussed the different strategies that airlines can use to expand their reach and increase their market share via either organic growth and code shares and alliances.

Fairen is a seasoned aviation executive with over 40 years of experience, and his extensive experience in the aviation industry spans four continents, holding senior positions in companies such as Iberia, Lufthansa, and DHL.

Additionally, he was the Co-Founder of Vueling Airlines in 2004 and, most recently, served as CEO of Viva Air Peru.

“The 31st African Aviation Summit, Air Finance Africa 2023, is a significant event that explores the current state of the aviation industry and the strategies necessary for recovery and growth. As one of the major players in the African aviation industry, TAAG's participation in the event highlights its commitment to the African aviation industry and dedication to providing innovative solutions to support the recovery and growth of the industry,” said Fairen.

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