Wednesday, October 2, 2013

■ MALAWI: Ethiopian's CFO Kassim Geressu appointed boss of Malawi Airlines.

Malawi flagMr. Kassim Geressu, the Chief Financial Officer of Ethiopian Airlines (ET), has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the carrier's nascent Malawian venture, Malawi Airlines. Mr Geresu's appointment was confirmed by Tewolde Gebremariam in a press conference held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, yesterday afternoon.

Kassim Geressu
According to Mr Gebremariam, Mr Geressu has been seconded to Lilongwe to head Malawian Airlines as per the management agreement between Ethiopian and the Malawian government. Ethiopian Airlines holds a 49% stake in the startup while 31% is open to Malawian investors with Government holding the rest (20%).
I am confident that he has the requisite academic background and experience in the airline industry to ensure the successful take-off of Malawian Airlines,” said GebreMariam.
Despite the announcement of Malawi Airlines' formation in July, the airline is currently undergoing a 3-month long certification process before actual operations can begin. 

Modelled along the lines of Ethiopian's West African venture, ASKY Airlines (KP), Malawi will serve as Ethiopian's southern African hub with a network spanning Johannesburg, Harare, Lusaka, Dar-es-Salaam and Luanda while domestically it will connect Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Karonga.

A B737-800 and a Q400 are to be used.

The news is the latest in a series of developments that are set to have a major impact on the Southern African regional aviation scene. Zambia's Proflight (P0) has already outlined its own ambitious route expansion plans which will see it serving Dar es Salaam later this year. Tanzania's fastjet (FN) in its recent 1H 2013 Financial Results mentioned Zambia and Malawi as its next tentative destinations once flights to Johannesburg successfully launch. Lastly, South Africa's Interair (D6) has now been granted rights to serve Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar 3x weekly each though has yet to officially announce any plans to use them.