In a crucial meeting held at Carthage Palace on Friday, Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed, Transport Minister Rabii Mejidi, and Tunisair’s CEO, Khaled Chelli, came together to address the pressing issue of rescuing the national carrier, Tunisair. The meeting focused on outlining a comprehensive plan to revive the airline, which has faced significant challenges, including corruption, leading to a decline in its performance over the years.
During the meeting, President Saïed emphasized the urgent need to renew Tunisair’s fleet and implement a strategic program to acquire new aircraft. A press release from the Presidency reported that he firmly advocated for a well-thought-out action plan to sell off non-functional aircraft and defective spare parts that are no longer in service. This move aims to streamline the airline’s operations and optimize resources.
“Tunisair was one of the best public companies for years before it was hit hard by corruption, like other companies,” President Saïed lamented, holding those responsible for the decline accountable for their actions. He called for concerted efforts to enable Tunisair to regain its previous stature and influence in the aviation industry. The President urged that parties seeking to sell the airline or drive it into bankruptcy must be held responsible for their decisions, emphasizing the need for transparency and integrity.
Additionally, President Saïed highlighted the significance of improving both air and ground services provided by Tunisair. He fondly recalled a time when the airline was renowned as one of the best international carriers, and he urged all stakeholders to work together to restore that reputation.
“We want the skies to be open for Tunisian planes and not to be strewn by planes that do not include ours,” President Saïed asserted, emphasizing the importance of maintaining open and fair competition within the aviation sector.
Furthermore, the President made a special mention regarding the assistance provided to pilgrims traveling to and from Tunisia, underlining the significance of providing them with the necessary support during their journey.
Tunisair’s current fleet comprises approximately 15 jets, including two Airbus A319, seven A320-200, four A320 Neo, and two A330-200 aircraft. With the fleet averaging around nine years old. It was also revealed that another A320 Neo has been ordered to further modernize the fleet.