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Corsair ready to welcome a new shareholder... but there's no hurry!

Interview with Pascal de Izaguirre, president of TUI


Having become a regular company, Corsair is having a hard time finding stability. Its President, Pascal de Izaguirre, said that Corsair will have to market more its image as a regular carrier. Moreover, he regrets that on some destinations (in the Caribbean) the competition is acting irrationally. Corsair is now ready to open its capital to new shareholders, but there is no need to rush yet...



TourMaG.com - It seems that the figures of Corsair are much worse than what you presented a few months ago. Why?

Pascal de Izaguirre : "We need to advertise especially more on our improved product, this upgrade ... It is true that Corsaire still remains among consumers as a charter company, low cost, etc. ..." – DR
Pascal de Izaguirre : "We need to advertise especially more on our improved product, this upgrade ... It is true that Corsaire still remains among consumers as a charter company, low cost, etc. ..." – DR
Pascal de Izaguirre: You know, in aeronautics, nothing is quite simple. Including maintenance services, which vary from one year to another. Schedules may be delayed depending on different criteria.

So maintenance was one of the elements that impacted our results. The second important element is that we have two new aircrafts in the fleet. But this causes higher rents.

And the impact of these higher rents is more important during the winter season, which is weaker than the summer season.

All this should be corrected as soon as the summer season comes around.

TourMaG.com - So all this was expected?

Pascal de Izaguirre: Yes, except the maintenance elements, some of which had to be readjusted.

TourMaG.com - Corsair has now become a regular company. What is the situation like?

Pascal de Izaguirre: I think we still have work to do for our customers. They know Corsair but however, we still have to insist that we are now a regular company and not a "charter" company anymore.

We need to advertise more on our improved product, this upgrade ... It is true that Corsaire still remains in the imaginary of consumers as a charter company, low cost, etc…

Although this tends to dissipate, you must continue to work on preaching this area.

Changing a brand image takes years…

TourMaG.com - To return to the results, the balance was almost reached last year...

Pascal de Izaguirre: I hope we get the same results this year.

Again, it depends on a lot on July/August. Air transport goals are often reached during this season.

TourMaG.com – How is it going in the Caribbean?

Pascal de Izaguirre: It's not going too badly. We carefully monitor our competition. It is true that there has been a drop in prices, which does not worry me too much.

However, we still have to act intelligently. b[When I see the proposed rates [from competing airlines - translator's note] of €399 all included, we cannot consider that logically, we just cannot sell 20 flight hours for €400 including tax.]b

Let’s not forget that a large part of these taxes is paid by airlines to the outside ... It is not reasonable.

This makes the customer believe that nothing is worth anything anymore, prices don’t hold value and we can have anything for nothing. Well no!

It does not work like that. Air transport, means aircraft, personnel, security, technology... It's expensive!

TourMaG.com - You apply a fuel surcharge?

Yes, like all airlines.

TourMaG.com - You signed an agreement with British Airways. Is it a customary for French companies outside of the Air France group, to return consistently to the British?

Pascal de Izaguirre: Yes, we signed with British Airways, but no, it is not a custom.

We also signed with Emirates. In fact, one of the problems of Corsair as a small company compared to Air France, is that we do not have a hub system.

So we do not fill up with “in transit” passengers, other than those coming from the province. We don’t have enough to “fuel” our flights which makes us suffer.

Since Air France does not want to sign with us, we need to find other partners. British Airways seemed to be a wise choice to the extent that this company also runs in Orly, our base airport!

TourMaG.com – And is everything going well with Air Caribbean?

Pascal de Izaguirre: There is no problem. We’re continuing our code-share.

TourMaG.com - How is your new class “Grand Large” received?

Pascal de Izaguirre: It is rather well received. I consider it just step because we can do better.

Currently we are working on the renewal of our fleet. Early 2017, we will not have anymore 747. This is a major project for the company.

To return to our Business Class, it is true that we don’t have “flat” beds... But when you consider the price to quality ratio ... Between Business Class of Air France and ours, who can afford the one of Air France?

Many passengers would rather invest more in a hotel than air transport when they leave on a week-long vacation.

Those who want to treat themselves can do so at reasonable price, without wasting thousands of dollars!

TourMaG.com – So what’s next step?

Pascal de Izaguirre: Looking into the future.

The three B747 remaining will be out of the fleet by 2017. And we're working on it.

At the end of 2014, we will have made a final decision on future aircrafts. Right now, I am unable to give you an answer. We’re investigating all possibilities.

TourMaG.com – Is the shareholder keeping his part of company at the moment?

Pascal de Izaguirre: Of course. But he is not abandoning the idea of opening capital. But there is no timetable, and no emergency.

If we can find a shareholder who wants to enter in the capital, it will be gladly welcomed. If we don’t find that then it does not matter...

All this will be done gradually and we are doing all these projects quietly. I also launched a new business venture called Ambitions2017 to cover the time until the arrival of the new fleet!

TourMaG.com - A word on Africa?

Pascal de Izaguirre: Senegal, is very popular.

We’re making good business, both passenger and cargo wide. Côte d' Ivoire, is more difficult, although in the last two or three months, we feel that things are improving.

The competition is very strong, but that was expected!

Written by Dominique Gobert translated by Joséphine Foucher the 05/06/2014
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