The Airline Operators of Nigeria has voiced their dissatisfaction as regards the numerous issues in the aviation industry. They said the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) should be blamed for the flight delays and cancellations.
They said lack of critical infrastructure at the airport is the reason for the countless flight delays in the country.
He made this disclosure at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, said when it comes to flight delays and cancellations, there are many things that are involved that many people do not know but rather blame the airlines, he went further to say that no airline in the world would want to delay flights because of the cost implications.
“How would I just wake up and want to delay my flight when I know I am going to incur a heavy cost.”
Onyema said the environment airlines are operating in is very hostile and unconducive with few available resources
“The Airlines are at the mercy of everybody. The owners of airlines in Nigeria are patriotic because it is not profitable. They are doing it as a service to Nigeria and should be applauded, not demonised.
“Nigerian indigenous airlines are performing under certain conditions that we should be applauded for still staying afloat. Is it forex, or fuel infrastructure? How about bird strikes in a good country? The airlines would have gone to court against FAAN for all the bird strikes because we pay for these services. Air Peace alone had had over twenty bird strikes in a year.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines and Spokesperson for AON, Prof Obiora Okonkwo, said there is huge racketeering in the aviation fuel imports at the expense of the airlines.
According to him, aviation fuel being sold above N800 per litre is inappropriate as calculation shows that it shouldn’t be sold above N500 per litre.
“The authorities should make forex available and do something about the fuel racketeering. We are paying above the real cost. We are not asking for free money nor subsidy but the right thing should be done as the burden is transferred to the travellers.”
The President who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer, Top Brass Aviation, Capt. Roland Iyayi also said that the inadequacy of critical infrastructure has more effect on flight delays than any other thing.
He said that there are not enough check-in counters, as well as the apron area and the airports are mostly operated during the day, thus unavailable at night for operations.
“The truth is, have you gone to Abuja Airport during peak hours? Do you have about ten airlines in one small living room? If you have, for example, if an airline has Owerri, Enugu, Kano, Jos and Maiduguri flight schedules, those destinations should have individual desks, but it’s not so.”
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