Angolan airline BestFly transported more than 500 passengers in the first days of the public service concession of inter-island air transport in Cape Verde, which started last Monday, the executive director of the Angolan group, Nuno Pereira said.
“This is a number that is well above what we expected for the first week, with so little preparation and marketing time,” said Nuno Pereira.
Between Monday and Friday – and taking into account that the company, at this stage, does not fly on Tuesday, for operational reasons – with six daily flights between the islands, BestFly, explained the executive director, transported “ more than 500 passengers ”.
“At the end of the first week, we have the operation running at 100%”, he guaranteed.
The Angolan airlines was chosen by the Cape Verdean Government, after consulting the market, to assume, from May 17, an emergency six-month concession for the public air transport service for inter-island passengers. The choice was announced on May 14 by the Government, due to the absence of tickets and flights scheduled by Transportes Interilhas de Cabo Verde (TICV, from the Spanish group Binter), starting on May 17 – in an apparent dispute with the Government, with TICV claiming financial support due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. At that time, it was the only airline that operated internal air connections for almost three years.
The company’s executive director had previously assumed the objectives of lowering the price of domestic flights in Cape Verde and staying beyond the six-month emergency contract, which started on Monday.
“What we committed to the Government of Cape Verde was to find a solution in which the State of Cape Verde had no expense and we, as a company, had no expense. Achieving breakeven [financial balance] is our goal, ”he said, in an interview before Lusa news agency, in Praia.
In this first week (until Sunday), the company planned to make 30 flights, between all the islands of Cape Verde, in an operation that was set up “in just 15 days”. Nuno Pereira guaranteed that despite the difficulties of the sector, with a strong drop in demand in the last year, due to the absence of tourism, the market study carried out suggests that it remains “a very appealing business”.
“We have our operation very well organized, with cost containment, with technical and operational efficiencies, because of course we cannot afford to lose money. But the idea is also not to make a lot of money and this is reflected in the ticket prices. They will go down, they will be cheaper, that is the idea ”, said Nuno Pereira.
“This was our commitment to Cape Verde. It was to bring transportation solutions at a price that is balanced and consistent with the current situation that the world is experiencing ”, added the company’s executive director.
The BestFly group is the result of a family company created in Angola and also operates in geographies such as Dubai, Republic of the Congo and Portugal.