New Telegraph

Nigeria’s route value worth $400bn

*Operators fault multiple landing slots for int’l carriers

Nigerian route value is estimated to be worth over $400 billion and one that stands to be frittered away with multiple landing slots allocated to foreign carriers.

This has, however, pitched the carriers against the domestic airlines as airline operators under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have rejected the Federal Government’s benevolence of ‘dashing’ foreign carriers multiple landing slots, saying the idea a great economic implication for Nigeria as a country.

Chairman, Air Peace Airlines, Mr. Allen Onyema, who represented the AON at the 1st Quarter Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) Business Breakfast Meeting held in Lagos On Thursday said: “Nigerian carriers believe that Nigeria’s aviation market is worth $400 billion; that is the worth of Nigerian route value.”

According to them, giving foreign airlines the rights to fly into several locations into Nigeria could hurt the revenue of domestic airlines and would suffer undue competition from their foreign counterparts.

However, Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who spoke earlier at the same meeting, said nothing was wrong, even though he admitted that the matter had become a bone of contention in the industry.

Just recently, Qatar Airways was granted an extra two entry points, into the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) and Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa (PHIA) which irked domestic airlines under the aegis of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON).

The minister, in his address delivered on his behalf by Group Captain John Ojikutu (rtd), said granting foreign airlines multiple entries was against the Cabotage Act, and that it stopped the airlines from generating the needed revenue that would help in their growth.

He also added that the pressure of Foreign Exchange required by airlines for their smooth operations which will help in repatriating funds is another disadvantage of the policy. Nonetheless, he argued that there are still prospects for domestic airlines.

He said: “Nevertheless, there are prospects for domestic airlines as they have opportunities for improved domestic markets by distributing International passengers for connection with these airlines. The grant of entry points to foreign airlines should also be such that they are giving multiple entries, to either Lagos or Abuja and not Lagos and Abuja, in addition, to any other airport outside the geographical area of the choice of Lagos and Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu. In this way, they do not take over all the business on all the international airports.”

But the AON in a swift rebuttal was unhappy with the response and subtly threatened court action if this policy was allowed to stand.

Onyema, who represented the AON, said the issue of multiple entry points was unacceptable even abroad.

Read Previous

Osun 2022: PDP accuses govt of blocking Adeleke’s campaign billboards

Read Next

Insecurity: Direct IGP, COAS to deploy special forces to troubled LGs in Kaduna – Reps urge FG

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *