Air Djibouti takes delivery of first aircraft for new commercial operations

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Bruce Dickinson, chairman of Cardiff Aviation, which provides Air Djibouti with operational management.
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The plane will officially go into service on Aug. 16, flying to regional destinations initially.
Updated 11 August 2016

Air Djibouti takes delivery of first aircraft for new commercial operations

LONDON: Air Djibouti has taken delivery of the first Boeing 737-400 aircraft in Djibouti in preparation for the launch of Air Djibouti’s new commercial operations.
Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of Djibouti, Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of Air Djibouti, along with other dignitaries, met the plane and crew at Djibouti’s International Airport in a ceremony welcoming this important step in Djibouti’s development as a global transport hub.
Bruce Dickinson, chairman of Cardiff Aviation, which provides Air Djibouti with operational management, delivered the Boeing 737-400 personally.
The plane traveled from Cardiff, stopping in Malta for re-fueling.
The plane will officially go into service on Aug. 16, flying to regional destinations initially.
Air Djibouti plans to introduce two BA146-300 aircraft by mid-September and mid-October, and a Boeing 767-200 in December this year, initially operating between Djibouti and London.
Other international destinations are expected to follow soon after, as well as regional freight services.
UK-based aircraft services and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, Cardiff Aviation, is providing technical assistance and management, and secured the European-level Air Operator’s Certificate for Air Djibouti.
The launch of Air Djibouti’s commercial operations is a crucial element of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority’ (DPFZA) strategy for establishing Djibouti as a major logistics center for the region.
With two new airports under construction that are expected to be operational by 2019, the country is building its air transport links to complement its already well established road, rail and maritime transport network.
Bruce Dickinson said: “The arrival of the first aircraft comes at a particularly exciting time for the region as Djibouti leads in spearheading the growth of aviation in East Africa.”
Djibouti is strategically located on the second busiest shipping lane in the world. It is a natural meeting point for the East and West’s global business development.
The DPFZA is working to replicate its success in port logistics in the aviation sector.
Air Djibouti’s commercial operations will further develop the country’s international connections and accessibility.
Djibouti’s current transport and logistics infrastructure program exceeds $15 billion.
Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of Air Djibouti and Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority, said: “Today’s flight shows how Djibouti is opening up to become a major global trade and investment hub.”
The chairman said: “With investment in our port facilities, free trade zones, the upcoming completion of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway and the launch of sea/air cargo transportation, Djibouti is completing the multimodal transport missing link. In doing so, the nation confirms its position as a trade and transport hub. The establishment of a flag carrier is an integral part of the DPFZA’s drive to achieve excellence in logistics.”


Virus pressure tests Saudi Arabia reforms as Aramco has Forbes debut

Updated 28 May 2020

Virus pressure tests Saudi Arabia reforms as Aramco has Forbes debut

  • ‘In terms of profits, the Saudi companies have done well. We will see more companies rising in the next few years

RIYADH: Saudi companies such as oil giant Aramco are displaying resilience in the face of the coronavirus pandemic because of reforms introduced before its arrival, say analysts.

The world’s largest oil company has become emblematic of wider corporate reforms triggered by the Saudi Vision 2030 blueprint for social and economic change.

Saudi Aramco this month appeared in the top five of the Forbes Global 2000 list, which ranks the world’s 2000 largest companies.

It comes as the world’s most profitable company reported profits on $88.2 billion last year.

This year’s rankings arrive amid a global pandemic which has devastated the earnings of some companies, improved the position of others and tested the resilience of all.

It has also shone a spotlight on the ability of the the Kingdom’s top companies to withstand the twin shock of the COVID-19 lockdown and the collapse of oil prices.

Saudi Aramco debuted on the prestigious Forbes list after completing the world’s largest initial public offering last year.

The rankings are based on a combination of sales, profits, market capitalization and assets. Three of the top five companies on the list are from China, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in the top spot for the eighth straight year with more than $4.3 trillion in assets.

Forbes noted that many of the companies on its list have come through a particularly difficult first quarter as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or what it describes as “The Great Cessation.”

“Many companies and organizations have faced difficulties in managing and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 crisis. However, there are some companies that have prepared well and put in action plans to avoid this crisis with the least damage,” said Fahad Alfaifi, a Saudi-based strategy and business planning consultant.

The pandemic has come at a time of historic change in the Kingdom’s corporate landscape driven by economic reforms which form a major part of the Vision 2030 agenda. This aims to reduce the country’s reliance on oil revenues and stimulate investment in sectors of the economy that create new jobs for a youthful population.

This backdrop has meant many companies in the Kingdom were already changing the way they did business before the arrival of the pandemic and the collapse of oil prices created new challenges.

Last year’s annual Global Competitiveness Report, issued by the World Economic Forum, placed the Kingdom third among G20 counties and 11th globally

in terms of IT governance which rates a country’s ability to adapt digital technologies such as e-commerce and financial technology.

Such technology skills are becoming increasingly important for economies as they to re-calibrate and adapt to the post-pandemic world.

Nasser Al-Qarawee, the director of the Saudi Study and Research Center, attributed the success of some Saudi companies to the great achievements made by the private sector lately and predicted that more Saudi companies would eventually join Aramco on the Forbes list.

“The national economy has seen enormous improvements and development in terms of laws and legislation that have helped reduce restrictions and bureaucracy, while the government has worked at the same time on reducing dependency on oil. Vision 2030 will further cement the Kingdom’s strong presence globally and make it have a larger influence on global decisions, not only economically but also politically.”

Tawfiq Al-Swailem, CEO of the Gulf Bureau for Research and Economic Consultations, said that many Saudi companies would emerge from the pandemic in a strong position.

“In terms of profits, the Saudi companies have done well, although the entire world is living through a state of ferocious economic war,” he said. “We will see more Saudi companies rising in the next few years.”