As the chief operating officer, what are the different kinds of challenges that you see in the aviation space today?
There are two main challenges in the aviation industry; the environmental challenges that existed before the pandemic, like the noise and emissions caused by the aircraft, and the more recent operational challenges resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic reinstated the importance of the aviation sector in global mobilisation. Although travel rates suffered a huge blow, we continued running our business to respond to the circumstantial as well as the environmental challenges by improving our operations and modernising our fleet.
“From a technical point of view, we aim to improve our performance with the help of predictive maintenance, with trends like big data and artificial intelligence (AI).”
We are responding to the environmental challenge by modernizing our fleet with the entry into service of 5 brand new A330 neos and by equipping our aircraft with new technologies to achieve fuel economy. We have also phase out older aircraft like the 747-400. The A330 neos bring 25 percent improvement in fuel consumption, a 60% reduction in noise pollution.
Better fuel consumption, in turn, can result in fewer emissions than the previous generation of aircraft and cause less noise pollution. Sustainable aviation fuel, however, can be 4 to 5 times more expensive than traditional fuels. Hence, this is a challenge for the sector and we introduce it gradually.