The impact of events Tunisia is living through and the strategy of Nouvelair were the focus of an interview conducted by African Manager with Karim Dahmani, Central Director of Sales & Marketing.
What is the impact of Revolution on the activity of Nouvelair?
First, Nouvelair Tunisia wishes to extend its most heartfelt condolences to the families of victims following the recent events that affected our country and welcomes the Revolution that will certainly create a climate of confidence conducive to the harmonious development of economy in general and tourism in particular.
What about the cancellation of several flights especially to Moscow?
Nouvelair, which is essentially a charter company, depends heavily on the supply of tour operators which have chosen a precautionary measure to defer their offer to Tunisia.
However, like any player in the tourism sector in Tunisia, Nouvelair must now cope with challenges facing our country with all its strengths, and contribute to the resumption of activities as soon as possible.
In this context, the Tunis/Moscow/Tunis flight has been interrupted momentarily, and this in mutual agreement with our partners. This flight will be brought back into operation very quickly when the situation allows it. It is the same for all flights of Nouvelair.
In this precarious environment where the situation is rather confused, can you explain the position of this company especially for the personnel who are still on strike?
Staff members of Nouvelair and its subsidiaries have never gone on strike. They simply wanted to have a clearer visibility on the current situation and future of the company, especially as the tourism sector is among the most affected sectors.
Rumors have circulated recently that technical maintenance of Nouvelair is made in the premises of Tunisair, what is your answer?
This is not true; the maintenance of Nouvelair’s aircrafts is entrusted to its subsidiary “Sabena Technics”, created in July 2001 in partnership with the TAT Group, which specializes in the servicing and maintenance of Airbus aircrafts.
Have you thought about a strategy to address the present situation of the company especially as the latter was closely connected to the Trabelsi’s family?
Nouvelair Tunisia, which was founded in 1989, is the first private airline in Tunisia. The Karthago Airlines Company was created much later in 2002 with a market position identical to that of Nouvelair Tunisia.
Thus, the rapprochement between Nouvelair Tunisia Karthago Airlines was necessary and the scenario of implementation retained provided for preserving the integrity and independence of Nouvelair Tunisia.
This rapprochement has resulted in a reallocation of the capital of which the Karthago Group of Belhassen Trabelsi owned a minority share of 13% that does not affect the governance of the company since the majority stake in the company remained under control of Tunisian private and institutional groups headed by private group TTS.
Would you tell us about the upcoming restructuring of Nouvelair?
Belhassen Trabelsi, who served as CEO since late 2008 date of the rapprochement achieved between Nouvelair and Karthago Airlines, is replaced by the founder of the company Aziz Miled, who held this position since the inception of the company.
Similarly, Nouvelair will not change its business strategy consisting in strengthening its market share in charter and developing a regular activity based on a “hybrid” model, meaning that the capacity of aircrafts put into operation will be marketed simultaneously for tour operators (block seats) and individuals.