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Need I say Moores

Stable foundations

What does an airline need to succeed? The answer is market stability, according to EgyptAir Airlines chairman Captain Sherif Ezzat Badrous.

I met Badrous at the Aviation Africa conference, during a recent trip to Cairo. When I asked him about his greatest worry, he said it was lack of visibility over what lies ahead.

To form a long-term strategy, airlines need at least a basic idea of what to expect, but the airline crystal ball is made from misted glass.

Recently, I’ve been on Ryanair and Finnair conference calls where the airlines haven’t been able to share their outlook for any more than six months down the line, because they simply don’t know how the market will evolve.

And yet, these same airlines need to commit to multi-million dollar assets years ahead of time, giving aircraft manufacturers the kind of business visibility that most airline CEOs can only dream of.

Instability can destroy an airline’s entire strategic plan and it can come from any direction, be it regulation, taxation, terrorists, natural disasters, political unrest, medical scares, fuel price volatility, or economic downturns, to name but a few.

Badrous’ answer was a good one. The question is what, if anything, can airlines do to give themselves a more predictable future?

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@informa.com

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