08.08.08 or 8.8.88

Tomorrow will be a very auspicious day according to the Chinese omen seekers. Indeed 8 being synonymous to prosperity at least in pronunciation in Mandarin, the many 8’s on the date should bring good omen and blessings. No wonder China has chosen 08.08.08 for the opening of its first ever Olympic games at 08 hours.

As for me, this date sends me back to twenty years back; 8.8.88 was the date the team at Rogers @ company chose to open the Freight Forwarders Centre( FFC) at the airport. Unfortunately we were not able to hold the date of the opening as the completion of the building was late. The FF C building was completed a few weeks after and the first operations started with the setting up of Plaisance Air Transport Services (PATS) .

Interestingly enough, FFC and PATS as well as the growth of ROGERS aviation activities overseas originated from a strategic exercise that started in 1986. Under the guidance of the planning department of Rogers Group, the team at ROGERS Aviation was asked to think and plan the future of the company. I recall vividly, coming back from my marketing studies, I got myself to strategically work on the issue. How do you expand and grow, when you hold almost 95 percent of the market of air cargo and you are the dominant player in the passenger travel market?

The investment in a building at the FFC was to provide facilities to Airlines beyond the General Sales agent’s contract we had with them. Our aim was to provide ground handling services to them. Rogers were thus expanding the services to their customer base. More spectacularly during this thinking process we also planned the deployment of ROGERS’ competence and know how to extend it to overseas region.

Looking back 20 years after, the team of the early 80’s should be proud for achievements. FFC is still the back bone of the Air cargo activities of the island. Offices as off shoots of Rogers Aviation are in operations in many countries: Reunion Island, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros Islands, Mayotte, and France.


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