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Cape Verdean air transportation sector technically bankrupt, says Jorge Spencer Lima 20 Mar�o 2012

“The only alternative available is to accept the recommendation made by the World Bank and merge the three Cape Verdean airlines into a single company, with the participation of a foreign partner,” affirms the Chief Executive Officer of private airline Halcyonair, Jorge Spencer Lima, who calls the idea the only way out for a sector “that is technically bankrupt.”

Spencer Lima’s proposal includes the constitution of a holding company, in which current Cape Verdean flagship airline TACV Cabo Verde Airlines would operate all long-haul international flights, Halcyonair domestic and regional flights, and Cabo Verde Express domestic charter flights.

At the moment, Cape Verde has three carriers, one of them a state airline (TACV) and two private airlines: Halcyonair, which flies between several of the country’s islands, and Cabo Verde Express, which carries out charter flights within the country.

As a consequence, Cape Verde has three different training systems, three different quality control systems, three maintenance services and three handling services, which triples costs in the sector.

Spencer Lima goes even further, saying that the government should make changes throughout the sector as soon as possible, as otherwise Cape Verdeans will soon face serious problems in the area.

The Cape Verdean government is currently seeking financial partners for the reform proposed by the World Bank, but has yet to receive any proposals. Angola appears to be the preferred partner, and Praia is still waiting for a response from Luanda.

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