Just after the month-long Tunisia Revolution — a period of civil disobedience and protests resulting in then President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s ousting — Frikha launched the airline. Now that the country abides by the principles of democracy, businesses like Syphax Airlines have been presented with growth opportunities.
According to Reuters, the positive outcome of the country’s revolution was associated with the idea of flourishing investment and business establishment. While this vision hasn’t come into fruition for most hopeful entrepreneurs, the business forecast has however shifted in Frikha’s favor.
“It’s true there are difficulties, but success may be double because of the availability of government incentives and guarantees…This gives us an advantage over competitors which might invest after the crisis,” Frikha said in the report. “It is important to launch investments in times of crisis.”
The airline’s flight schedules allow Tunisians to travel to destinations including Paris, Istanbul, Libya and Saudi Arabia, the report noted. The company ordered six new airbuses in July — a $576 million investment — upgrading from the four planes the airline uses for operations. Initially, Syphax started out with only two aircraft.
“I look forward to Syphax becoming a small Lufthansa or Emirates airline. I will increase the number of people coming to Tunisia and break into new markets such as the United States, Canada and China,” Frikha added noting that Syphax went public in July of this year, listing 2.5 million shares on the Tunisia Stock Exchange worth $15.3 million.
In an effort to move international investment flows along, the Tunisian government will be cutting public spending by five percent and freezing the wages of public sector workers in 2014, Reuters reported.
Frikha said that the tax and spending reforms being implemented by the government were essential to the country’s recovery and revenue generation.
“We should be ready for Tunisia after the crisis, because we are able to become a model for success in the Arab Spring and resemble Turkey,” Frikha concluded.