Reshaping the nation

Savané Vassiriki, General Director

Interview with Mr. Savané Vassiriki, General Director
Read our exclusive interview

Mr. Savané Vassiriki,
General Director

Place de la Republique,
Abidján-Plateau - Côte d'Ivoire
Tel: ( 225) 20 20 66 66
Fax: (225) 20 33 26 26


The history of the airline started immediately after independence. On 14 December 1960, a draft agreement for the establishment of a national airline was signed between Côte d'Ivoire and France.

This led to the birth of the AIR IVOIRE under a mixed economy arrangement with French interests (precisely, the transport development company, SODETRAF).

It had a share capital of CFA F 10 million distributed as follows:

  • 66% for Côte d'Ivoire

  • 34% for SODETRAF

  • Effective operations commenced with two (2) DC 3's. The management of the airline was put in the hands of UTA (Union des Transports Aeronautiques) which replaced the former French company, UAT.

    In 1971, AIR AFRIQUE became a partner to AIR IVOIRE with a new distribution of capital as follows:

  • 60% for Côte d'Ivoire

  • 20% for SODETRAF

  • 20% for Air Afrique

  • Its share capital thus became increased to CFA F 30 million.

    Following the State take-over of AIR IVOIRE's foreign participation through the enabling decree No. 77664 of 16 September 1977, the airline acquired a public company status with share capital of CFA F 100 million.

    In March 1979, the technical supervision of the airline was transferred from the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Urban Planning, to the Ministry of National Defence and Civil Service.

    The re-organisation of the airline's operations was now put in the care of Groupement Aerienne des transports et Liaisons (GATL).

    Initially created to link up the different parts of the country, the airline soon undertook other objectives with the expansion of its sub regional activities to cover Bamako, Ouagadougou, Conakry, Accra, Monrovia and Freetown.
    On 18 May 1994, the management of the airline was thrown open to civilians, hence the subsequent break up between GALT and AIR IVOIRE. Nevertheless, GATL continued to provide assistance to the airline, especially in terms of supplying pilots and ground maintenance of the fleet.

    The airline's headquarters was thus transferred from the GATL to the Place de la Republique situated on the former EECI building on Avenue Houdaille on the Abidjan Plateau.


    Since 12 April 1999, AIR IVOIRE has been under the mangement of Mr. Savane Vassiriki who undertook at once to change the corporate principle of the airline.

    AIR IVOIRE was not like any other national airline as it was run by the army.

    Mr. Savane is believed to be putting in place an air transport company with universally recognised management criteria in the air transport sector. It was therefore not a co-incidence that the government chose an air transport professional to run the national airline.

    The new Managing Director was recruited with the following clear and precise objectives in mind:

    - the restoration of AIR IVOIRE whithin the perspectives of its privatisation. With the assessment concluded, this task only remains to be implemented.

    Restructuring of the airline is thus a priority that would necessitate a restoration of the treasury.

    The new Management has no doubts arriving at its goals not by applying any unusual measures but by simply adopting modern financial management techniques a policy of drastic reduction in operating costs including among others:

    - the adaptation of its fleet to the network

    - the development of channels of co-operation

    - the improvement of its human resources through training

    - the introduction of new products (pilgrimages, tourism tours etc.)

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    © World INvestment NEws, 2000.
    This is the electronic edition of the special country report on Côte d'Ivoire published in Forbes Global Magazine.
    August 21th 2000 Issue.
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