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The board of directors of ASKY, the first pan-African cross boarder airline, appointed Henok Teferra as its new CEO starting from May 18, 2015. The incoming director was member of the airline’s board since 2013.
Henock was serving Ethiopian Airlines since September, 2013 as Vice President for Strategy, Communication, and Alliances. He replaced Yissehak Zewoldi who served ASKY as CEO since September 2013.
Before joining Ethiopian Airlines as Director of Corporate Strategy and Government Affairs in March 2010, Henock served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as First Secretary in charge of Economic Planning and Negotiations of Bilateral Air Service Agreements since February 2003.
Henock told Capital that he is honored to be elected as CEO of the pan-African airline. “ASKY plays a major role in connecting West Africa with Central Africa which has been connected through Europe previously,” he said.
“A top airline executive with solid experience and diplomatic skills, Henock had the opportunity to prove himself at international level and has shown huge leadership abilities. His various qualifications led him to oversee the development and implementation of the business strategy that has made Ethiopian Airlines the largest African airline whose growth is the fastest on the continent,” reads a statement released by ASKY.
After the first pan-African airline Air Afrique went bankrupt in 2002, cross-border air transport in Africa became more difficult, especially in West and Central Africa. At a conference of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) at Niamey in Niger on 10 January 2004, it was decided to create a private, competitive, cost-effective airline offering all guarantees of safety and security for the region.
In September 2005, the company for the promotion of a regional airline (SPCAR) was set up, which led to various feasibility studies and market studies, and sought financial and strategic partners. This led to the establishment of ASKY Airlines in November 2007. On 17 January 2008, a general meeting to establish a new international private airline was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Eighty percent of the shares were to be held by private investors and the reminder 20 percent by public financial institutions whose mission is to support privately owned development institutions. Ethiopian Airlines became the technical and strategic partner under a management contract for the first five years of operation, holding a 40 percent stake.
Originally planned for April 2009, the first revenue flight took place on 15 January 2010.
The airline is the only carrier with such capacity in the region. Today, ASKY carries every week more than 9,500 passengers with its seven Next Generation fleet of aircrafts throughout its networks in 19 countries and 22 cities in Western and Central Africa.