May 8, 2021

Nigeria Transport Hub

…the epicentre for all transport modes

STATUS OF INDUSTRY RESTART: Operators are unanimous on financial stimulus

3 min read

Removal of seats from the middle row of passenger aircraft cabin has been described as a veritable measure to ensure the quick demise of the airlines as their operations will instantly become unprofitable and gives no reason for operators to be in business thus air transport death knell would have been induced.

Chairman of Air Peace, barrister Allen Onyema, made the declaration where industry stakeholders, operators and regulators appraise the present condition of the industry and close necessary gaps which will enhance smooth and safe return of air travel.

Air Peace owner said the global recession had eroded the peoples purchasing power and any additional burden pass to consumers as the seat removal would compel increase in fare, would further impede industry restart.. He noted that in a country  where less than 10% of its population fly, would spell done for the industry.

The distinguished former Director General of NCAA, Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren, advocated for  a simulation shortly before the restart as a means to get every airport personnel re-set and re-equip for the new normal in operations and even during emergencies  

Giving the rationale for the simulation Demuren said, “We need to assure passengers that it is safe to fly. A simulation, two days before the opening of the airports is highly invaluable”.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Belujane Consult, Mr Chris Aligbe, further explained rationale for the airport emergency simulation under the Covid-19 protocol by emphasized that, “the whole exercise is for the passengers and airport users”.

Owner of Air Peace, Allen  Onyeama, advocated for stimulus for specific purposes. Hence he said stimulus that will inspire job retention should as a matter of urgency by government so as to aid job retention in the industry and urged government not to procrastinate.\

He said the current government preaches job creation and and to safe jobs already created, he urged that the palliative should be given with workers in mind.

Capt Edward Boyo, Managing Director Overland called the attention of participants to the global trend on the type of bailout most governments the world over extended to their own industry now.

Captain Edward Boyo, the Managing Director of Overland Airways while throwing his weight in support for palliative said Nigeria should not be different as ‘every country is providing financial support to the industry, and Nigeria’s Federal government cannot afford to be different.’

Also making a case for government’s support is the West African Area Manager, International Air Transport Association, Dr. Samson Fatokun warned that, Nigerian airlines will not breakeven with proposed 70% load factor.

Fatokun stated that, “Air transport in Nigeria is distressed with the shutting down of operations. This industry need financial support in which way it can come. We are appealing again to the government to support the industry. We are also ready to support in training.”

However, at the opening of the zoom meeting, Aviation Minister, Capt Hadi Sirika, said the meeting which was called by the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, was at the instance of the minister.

While setting the tone of the stakeholder parley, the Minister said, “The whole purpose of this exercise is to get it right. It is our own style to come to you and marry your ideas and suggestions with ours for the betterment of our industry.”

He further revealed the good news, “Palliative is being considered and it is for the whole industry. There will be a template and it would be fair to everyone in the industry.”

The Minister emphasized that, “Nothing will go to the government unless it is something that is collectively agreed upon.”

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