Relaunch of Air Burkina, rehabilitation of the Abidjan-Kaya railway, construction of a new railway line between Ouagadougou and Accra and of an airport in Donsin, 35 km northeast of the capital… The new Burkinabè minister of Transports, Vincent Dabilgou, details his priorities.
Promoted to the government during the reshuffle of January 31, the Burkinabè Minister of Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety is a man of files. President of the New Time for Democracy political formation (NTD) – presidential movement, the engineer of about fifty years is close to the influential Simon Compaoré, of whom he was the technical director of municipal services when the president of the Movement of the People for Progress (MPP, in power) was burgomaster of the capital. Minister of Housing and Town Planning in 2007 under Blaise Compaoré, it was he who initiated the construction program of 10,000 social housing units.
Jeune Afrique: One year after the departure of the Aga Khan Fund for the economic development of Air Burkina’s capital, how is the national carrier doing?
Vincent Dabilgou: Leaving the Fund was not easy for Air Burkina; the more so as under his wing our national company benefited from a flourishing situation. It shone in the sub-region with an appreciated operational capacity and suitable equipment.
A year later, the results from an economic and financial point of view are not brilliant even if the company continues to serve the sub-region. Aga Khan had enabled us to strengthen Air Burkina’s ability to fly . Today our company has an Embraer 170 and leases a Boeing 737 from the South African company African Charter Airline.
What is the government doing to revive the air carrier?
We undertook three major actions as soon as the company took over, namely rigorous management and cost reduction, as well as the development of a strategic plan.
I am particularly satisfied with that, insofar as we were able to reduce the annual deficit which was around 3 billion to only 300 million FCFA. These measures gave the company a breath of fresh air, which saw the occupancy rate jump to almost 70%, for a turnover of around 16 billion FCFA.