Member Feature: Interview with Mees van Ojik of KLM Air France


 Member Feature: Interview with Mees van Ojik of KLM Air France

Interview with Mees Van Ojik from KLM


Can you tell us about yourself and your journey to becoming the Country Manager of KLM in Ghana?

I had always wanted to become a pilot however after the financial crisis there were limited jobs available for pilots. As a result, I decided to study Economics and Business Management in Amsterdam. Hereafter my interest shifted towards the commercial side of the business. I graduated in 2015 and found a job with Air France KLM Revenue Management – Africa Team in Paris. Prior to my job in Paris I had lived in Benin before and had done an internship at Heineken in Kinshasa. After six years in Paris, I wanted to move on to something new that still allowed me to combine aviation with my passion for Africa. My predecessor was leaving his role as country manager of KLM in Accra and this was a perfect match for me so I accepted the role.


What is an accomplishment you are most proud of/What have you been able to achieve so far?

I am proud that I have been able to bring structure to the team. There is a clear division of work within the team now. We have introduced more one-on-one meetings and also more meetings with the team to allow them to work more closely together. We also hold town hall meetings so that the local staff is aware of what is happening within the entire group. Out of the entire team, I am the only expat. The goal however is to make them feel part of the larger group by working on the team spirit and strengthening the ties with the head office.


What (else) should our members know about KLM?

Airfrance KLM is the biggest airline group in Ghana. There are 14 flights every week which connect people to the rest of the world. Another interesting fact is that KLM is the oldest airline in Ghana and has been flying here for more than 65 years and has a history of more than 102 years.

People seem to like KLM because of our overall product. This entail our flight schedule and on-time performance, connectivity, consistence and customer experience. Reliability and consistency in product delivery is very important to people. We also seek to offer a competitive price which we continuously monitor.


How did the COVID impact the business of KLM?

The impact of covid-19 on the entire aviation industry was huge. It is however getting better and we are recently back at full strength. Worldwide there is a rise in demand for flights which has gone up to about 70-80% of pre-covid levels. We are aware that the next two years will still be challenging for this industry. Based on our revenues we are doing better than last year but still not as good as 2019. This is due to the loans we had to take out during covid and the interest payments that need to be made, on top of the demand which is not back to what it used to be.


What support do you expect from GNBCC Members and what do you hope to give in return?

We hope that GNBCC members fly with KLM wherever in the world they need to go. We hope to be their airline of choice. In return we offer a good consistent product against attractive pricing and good customer care. GNBCC members as SMEs are important to us so we will give them optimal customer support and guarantee them of a competitive price offer.












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