Kenya Airways, Air Madagascar, and Air Austral sign MoU to grow networks in Africa
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the African national carriers, Kenya Airways and Air Madagascar, and the Reunion Island-based French airline, Air Austral.
The carriers aim to develop a codeshare pact in order to boost their networks in Africa by exploring connections between the continent and the island in the Indian Ocean.
“Improving access to the Indian Ocean islands is the goal that this agreement seeks to achieve,” stated Sebastian Mikosz, Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Airways.
“Our customers will have better access to Mayotte, La Reunion, domestic Madagascar and Kenya as well as other destinations beyond our respective hubs.”
Kenya Airways is targeting leisure segments through the agreement, while Air Madagascar aims to reach new destinations.
Through the codeshare pacts, Air Austral aims to expand its business on the continent through Kenya Airways’ connections.
Kenya Airways recently made a deal with American aircraft manufacturer Boeing to create access for the African Airline to its spare parts and on-demand services network.
The airline has become the first on the continent to gain access to Boeing’s consumable and expandable services.
The deal between the two firms aims to increase the carrier’s turnaround time through Boeing delivering efficient maintenance operations for its fleet.
“This programme will provide unparalleled support for our fleet of 737s and 787-8s and we expect to continue to grow our operations with increased reliability and quicker turnaround times,” noted Jan de Vegt, Kenya Airways’ Chief Operating Officer.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.