Although the pandemic has undermined the international economy for almost two years, the BlueSky Mozambique travel agency has achieved its best results ever, quadrupling its profits for the 2020-2021 financial year. Bazir Kurreembukus, Country Manager for Mozambique, talks about the values that have driven this success.
As airports, borders, and competitors closed, the agency’s five branches in Mozambique focused their efforts on finding new opportunities. To get out of this turbulent zone, they had to fly towards other horizons and go beyond their usual field of operations.
Repatriation and deployment of personnel in isolated regions by helicopter or private plane, charter flights for government and NGO employees, the transport of freight or equipment… BlueSky Mozambique has reinvented itself in recent months. Already a major player in the aviation and tourism sector in Mozambique, the agency has made a name for itself as an operator of logistics solutions for both local and multinational service providers and companies. This has proved to be a winning strategy, and requests are pouring in.
Lockdowns, teleworking, anxiety-inducing situations… human and professional relations have been severely tested by Covid-19. Instead of giving in to panic, the teams at BlueSky have shown unprecedented resilience. They worked together, rolling up their sleeves to obtain an official waiver that allowed them to operate commercial flights for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, initially every two weeks, and eventually on a weekly basis. Solidarity, both internal and external, allowed the agency to meet its commitments.
From Pemba to Tete, via Beira, Maputo and Nampula, BlueSky’s five agencies rely on the complementary skills of their experienced teams. Bazir Kurreembukus has 21 years of industry experience, for example, with 18 of those years spent in Mozambique. His understanding of and sensitivity to the realities of this market allow him to maintain good working relationships with strategic partners such as the Ministry of Transport, and the Civil Aviation and Airport Authorities, among others.
Involvement with the local community, contributing to its development and “well-being” is another foundational value at BlueSky. The company carries out various civic activities
in Pemba. To preserve the environment and fight pollution, BlueSky has installed waste bins on the beaches and in the town centre. Landscaping work has also been carried out around the airport, to make Pemba more welcoming. These initiatives build trust between BlueSky and the community in which it operates.
Bazir Kurreembukus attributes the agency’s success to the teamwork of all of BlueSky Mozambique’s employees, and rightly so, although his own leadership certainly played its part. When the crisis broke out, Kurreembukus’ professional conscience and sense of duty dictated that he remain with his teams, while many other expatriates chose to return home. “It was essential to make sure we came through the storm safely. I had to provide assurance that our company’s commitment to our Mozambican colleagues was unwavering and that our agency would continue its operations, whatever the cost,” he concludes. And so it has!