Egypt has taken several safety measures in attempts to control the outbreak of Covid-19 while reducing the hard effects such decisions could take on the economy and the Egyptian people, Mohamed Hanno, executive chairman and chief executive of Cairo-based ground handler ASE Group, explains to ARGS.
“Aviation and tourism are among the most affected sectors with airplanes on the ground, empty or closed hotels and travel restrictions put in place in virtually all countries around the world. We can consider that this is by far the worst result in the historical series of international tourism and aviation for a long time,” says Hanno.
“The pandemic had huge consequences on the economy, companies and businesses. The aviation sector suffered from a significant reduction in volume of flights and passengers. The operational disruption and economic instability resulted in a massive reduction in revenue, although currently charter and scheduled flights are increasing gradually. Although that challenge remains ahead and all should be ready with more alternative plans to survive, we are optimistic for the recovery of tourism and travel during the coming period, especially with worldwide vaccinations against the coronavirus, and the easing travel restrictions in some countries,” explains Hanno.
A crisis management plan was instigated to address employee wellbeing, brand reputation and financial management. “So far things are going as planned till hopefully all pandemic affects are gone, while charter and schedule flights are increasing back gradually,” says Hanno. “The 15th of June 2021 was a day to remember for all the ASE team. Three inaugural flights were started in three destinations served by and within the ASE Group, handled by its teams in Egypt, Morocco and the UAE,” he says.
Being able to bring operations back swiftly will be important as airlines seek to restart service, often at short notice. “Some companies globally and locally have chosen to restructure/terminate staff but at ASE we always have a belief and concept that our staff are our real assets and keeping on them is our first priority,” says Hanno. “Accordingly, ASE Group was ready once our partners decided to operate to any of our locations at very short notice, and it has been no problem having our staff and resources in place and on standby.”