NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The Gambia International Airlines (GIA), Boss Bakary Nyasi has clearly indicated that GIA has made a pre-tax loss of 6.53m for the period ended 31 December 2009, compared to a pre-tax loss of D24.5m in 2008 according to him, this improvement is partly attributed to the termination of the management contract with as Aviation in July 2008 and the consequent non-payment of the management fees. Turnover increased to D164.0m in 2009 or by 149% from 2008, this increase in turnover is due to the revenue collected from the centralization of Hajj with GIA. Mr. Nyassi made these remarks on Thursday 27 January 2011 at the national Assembly, while presenting the GIA 2008-2009 Annual Report, before the public account and public enterprises committee of the house.
He stated that, Ground Handling is the nucleus of the company and has been for the past years, ground handling turnover in 2009 is D61.8m ad the corresponding figure for 2008, was D63.0m, this he said represent a slight decline in revenue of 0.48%. He noted that, a total of 296, 496, passengers were handled on 3,865. Flights during the year, whilst in 2008 the corresponding figure was 312,150 passengers representing a drop of 5.0%. He indicated that, the exit from the market of Slok Air and Air Senegal International are main causes for the decline in number of flights. According to him, GIA is currently not direct engaged in commercial flight operations, but have engaged TACV Cape Verde Airlines into a code share agreement since November, 2009 operating flights between Banjul and Dakar and Banjul and Freetown.
The GIA Boss, posted that, under the code share agreement, GIA was the marketing carrier and TACV, the operating carrier. This means, GIA’s traffic rights were being used by TACV in return for a royalty payment at the rate of 14% as code share commission (CSC), in addition, GIA received a commission of 9% on every ticket sold (Interline service commission ISC) bringing total commission to 23% (code-share and interline service commission combined). It is pertinent to note that TACV were entirely responsible for all operation costs. He sait htat, the partnership with TACV was quite beneficial to the Gambia as it improved air access to the country. The impact was much felt when the Senegalese carrier, air Senegal international, ceased operations into Banjul in March 2009, and the only carrier on the Banjul – Dakar route providing direct air services was GACV – GIA operations.
He said that, this was also greatly appreciated because of the fact that the roads between Banjul and Dakar at the time were in bad state. According to GIA Boss, Government in 2008. Following the debate Hajj operations set up an investigation committee to look into the problems of Hajj organization in that year. He noted that, the Gambian Pilgrims were stranded in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for three (3) weeks after the Hajj and Government had to spend about US$ 726,000.00 to repatriate all the pilgrims. He went on GIA was not allowed to participate in Hajj organisation in 2008, due to the company’s weak financial position and internal organization problems afflicted in the course of the management contract by GS Aviation.
He disclosed that, the investigation committee forwarded their findings with recommendations to the office of the president, in implementing, GIA was allowed to solely organize Hajj 2009 with pre-financing from the Government in this year, government provided D66m to GIA to pre-finance Hajj organisation and a total of 1,029 pilgrims were airlifted. The hajj operation was a resounding success. He pointed out that, the major constraints of the company is the huge debts contracted by the company management solicited the intervention of government to pay off the loans to improve the company’s balance sheet. He said that, this will enable full concentration on strategies to move the airline forward. Government in November 2008, intervened to liquidate the D56 million (USD 2.8 million owed to access bank Gambia limited in respect of hajj 2009.