Captain Nogie Meggison, Chairman, Airline Operators Of Nigeria, AON
|Indigenous Airlines in Nigeria have been advised to step up their game to conform with international standards and best practices in all spheres of their operations such as, signing up for the Billing Settlement Plan, BSP, interlining among themselves and adoption of Information Communication and Technology, ICT, so as to be found suitable for code-sharing by the numerous foreign airlines flying into various destinations in the country. |
These words of encouragement were volunteered for the entire members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, at the last virtual update and the review of industry performance when Dr. Gbenga Gabriel Olowo, President, Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative, ASRTI, frowned at the neglect of ICT by the airlines.
Dr. Olowo called the attention of the industry leaders present at the virtual meeting, especially the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation, NCAA, to the emerging trend of selling tickets via what’sapp, the development which he said would not augur well for the industry as financial transaction on what’sapp, is far from being safe.
The ASRTI President added that, the BSP platform which is the standard for ticket sales worldwide and sanctioned for well over a decade now, by the International Air Transport Association, IATA, should be enforced by NCAA among domestic operators.
Olowo explained that any initiative for code sharing with domestic operators not on BSP platform in which IATA is the clearing house, would surely instill great fears into the foreign airliners who, would not be able to reconcile how an airline could operate and not have dealings on ticket sales with the global body, IATA.
Hence he appealed to AON to step up its members’ game so as to be positioned to reap the prospect of increase flight operations imminent during the post covid-19 era as being anticipated.
Another Contributor lamented that it was appalling that a passenger could not use the ticket of say, Arik airline, on another airline’s flight such as Air Peace, heading for the same destination and departing from the same terminal.
It was reasoned that for the airlines to continue working in silos would not bring the greatest good to them as a body and even as individual operator.
Capt. Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, DG, NCAA, also seized the occasion to put the domestic operators on notice that, with the drastically improved use of ICT during this pandemic, the regulatory authority would not relapse, but would press ahead and soon compel all domestic operators to use ICT in their dealings with the NCAA.
Nuhu added that, very soon, airlines would soon be statutorily compelled to employ automation in settling their bills with the authority saying the industry’s reputation was not good enough outside the shores of Nigeria.
He noted that most business owners approach on financial matters was akin to being penny wise and pound foolish. He said taking back stage in subscribing to the highly convenient payment platform, BSP, in which IATA is the clearing house, would surely impede interlining and code sharing which hold the prospect of improving the airlines bottom line.