A civil war in Ethiopia focused on its northernmost province, Tigray, had not dented business aviation flight-support provider Krimson Aviation's progress, company CEO Dawit Lemma told AIN. In fact, data from WingX Advance shows that Ethiopian business aviation departures are higher year-to-date from 2021 and well over 2020 levels. Meanwhile, such traffic continued to grow at high rates in East Africa last year, with movements up 44 percent year-over-year.
“We are now the largest African flight-support company in terms of geographic footprint and number of airports serviced for business aviation,” Lemma said. “The hostilities have not had an effect on other countries in East Africa, which represents more than 50 percent of our business. There has also been increased demand for humanitarian and military flights into the north of the region, which has contributed to a portion of our business over the last year.”
Krimson plans to build and develop an FBO in Addis Ababa, followed by a chain of locations across East Africa that will also offer MRO capabilities to meet the growing demands of business aviation in the region. “The African FBO network is limited; those that exist are comparable with international offerings, although they remain few and far between, which is why we’re focusing on this sector,” Lemma told AIN. “We are currently confirming investment and will be able to add more detail once this is in place. Our plan to have three facilities built and operational in Africa by end of the first quarter of 2023 remains on track.”
Additionally, Krimson has been selected to join the European Business Aviation Association’s Ambassadors Program, he said. The initiative sees industry leaders join dedicated workshops and forums to address the greatest challenges and opportunities for business aviation in Europe. “Our experience managing flight movements between, and within, the two continents delivers valuable insight on best practice and effective flight management linking the two continents,” Lemma added.
Business aviation continues its rapid rise in Africa and Krimson remains committed to delivering high standards to all its customers while building out further offerings, including a medevac business and infrastructure expansion. It has also launched a $100,000 scholarship to fund a new endowment at the aviation department at U.S.-based Purdue University to support minority students' education.
“This year is going to be an extremely dynamic one for Krimson Aviation,” Lemma said. “At Krimson, we have made a point of doing the ordinary extraordinarily, and this has supported year-on-year growth for the last five years.”