New woman-led airline to do business its own way

siza mzimela

Having watched aspiring competitors fold up before they even started, you cannot blame the South African Airways (SAA) for not losing sleep over an organisation or individual expressing interest to enter its turf.

But a woman is determined to be an exception to the rule. Former SAA Chief Executive Officer, Siza Mzimela, is confident in her airline’s business model. Having watched its privately-run predecessors launch with fanfare and vanish unceremoniously, Blue Crane Aviation will not pursue the overtraded Johannesburg-Durban-Cape Town route. Instead, it sees lucrative growth prospects in markets like Mozambique and Tanzania.

“We are preparing the ground for a regional airline, looking specifically at underserviced routes,” Richard Mkhondo, Blue Crane Aviation’s Spokesperson said.  

Aviation analysts have observed that one of the factors that have contributed to the collapse of aviation businesses is that investors have not had a thorough grasp of the sector’s basics.

However, with old hands in the industry behind it, there is firm belief that Blue Crane Aviation will not follow the fateful trajectory of others. Mzimela has partnered with fellow ex-SAA executives, Theunis Potgieter and Jerome Simelane.

Seeing accomplished former employees turn competitors should be real cause for concern to SAA, the chronically loss making parastatal. But there should not be trepidation in the board room yet as Blue Crane is still finalising its paperwork with the Ministry of Transport. According to Mkhondo, the airline is waiting for the outcome of its Air Services Licence.

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