ALS Kenya Ltd chairman Aslam Khan (second right) and chief executive officer Cornwell Muleya receive the International Air Transport Association (IATA) membership certificate from the organisation’s Vice-President for Africa Mike Higgins (right) yesterday as IATA Hassim Pondor, IATA’s regional country manager for east Africa and Indian Ocean and head of Nairobi Mission, looks on. The company was admitted on September 12 this year after passing the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).
Aircraft Leasing Services (ALS) limited will now be able to form alliances and partnerships with international carriers to boost its business expansion strategy.
This is after it officially became the member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) by certification. The company passed the IATA Operations Safety Audit (IOSA) test, a benchmark in assessing the management and control systems of airlines. This, the ALS chairman Aslam Khan said will open opportunities for expansion to more routes in its airline services and assist in formation of partnership with other airline operators.
“With the certificate we will now be able to form partnership with other airlines, we will liaise with the Kenya airways to negotiate on deploying some routes to our operations. Mostly we are focused on business expansion,” said Khan.
Cornwell Muleya, ALS Chief executive Officer reiterated Khans sentiments adding that it will serve its passengers through the IOSA registered airlines to enhance its role of providing safety standards to its consumers.
“IATA membership opens new markets with all major international carriers that can transfer passengers to IOSA registered airlines and confirm our position as a safe provider of aviation solutions,” said Muleya.
ALS recently signed a one year lease agreement with Southern Sudanese airline, Southern star to a tune of Sh400 million to acquire a 37-seater Dehaviland Dash 8 airline. The company is now seeking for more passenger and cargo business in the new state and further in Congo and Somalia.
“We have entered into agreement with the Sudanese government. We are now aiming at expanding our market to Congo and Somalia,” said Muleya.
The company will also increase its aircraft fleet by 50 to reach 77 to take the opportunity of the anticipated business and contract markets. The aircrafts under consideration is the Embraer 145 jet and the Dash 8-300.
“This is in a bid to meet the growing demand for its services and strategic alliances with IATA registered airlines,” added Muleya
IATA regional Vice President for Africa, Mike Higgins, cited prolific charges in Africa and European markets as major threats in expansion of airline markets, he however said despite the challenges African markets are still recording high returns.
“An average return of 1.5 percent is anticipated in the airline business, this is despite the trading challenges experienced in the African and European markets,” said Higgins.
The ASL CEO attributed the high returns to numerous investments carried out in the continent that makes it possible for the airline operators shrug the effects of inflationary rates on commodities like oil and electricity.
“Aviation in the region is growing at a rate of six percent, this is through investment in commodity markets that boost returns in the industry,” said Muleya.
Muleya also termed poaching of pilots as a major challenge facing the company’s operations adding that through its training programmes it will be able to ensure more pilots are put on board to support the expansion programme.
“As we brace for expansion we will maintain our standards through our continuous training programme. Every year we train 15 new employers, we have also met stringent requirements for the UN, ICRC and WFP and oil companies to strive on improving our already high and internationally accepted standards,” he said.