By JOHNMARK UKOKO and ADAKU WALTER
- As Russian-Ukrainian crisis threatens to ground flight operations
No fewer than six domestic airlines have formed a partnership to up their game in passenger satisfaction with the formation of what they called ‘Spring Alliance.’
The airlines in the alliance are Air Peace, Azman Air, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, United Nigeria Airline and Max Air.
Speaking at the announcement of the alliance, the Chairman of Air Peace and Vice President of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Allen Onyema, said the Spring Alliance was formed for the benefit of passengers, who fly with the six airlines.
“In the aviation world we have so many alliances airlines key into. With the Star Alliance, there is One World Alliance and several others. The airlines decided to key into those alliances for the benefit of both the passengers and the airlines themselves,” Onyema said.
Speaking further, he said: “So today six Nigeria airlines notably Air Peace, Azman Air, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Max Air and United Nigeria decided to come together to form the Spring Alliance.
“We decided to come together to do this for the benefit of the flying public that use the opportunities provided by the airlines to fly. By the alliance, our passengers are protected whenever there is a problem with one airline. It is our response to the complaints of the flying public, so this alliance will enable us to satisfy them.
“With this alliance and what we are going to be doing henceforth, the flying public will reap the benefits. For example, if Air Peace has an issue with any of its aircraft, its passengers of Air Peace need not be delayed. If any member of the alliance is heading for the same destination, we move the passengers to that other airline, being a member of the alliance at no extra cost to the passenger.”
Onyema stressed that the initiative to form the alliance is a noble one, representing a revolution in the Nigerian aviation sector while urging local airlines to tap into the benefits offered by the alliance by joining.
He added that Spring Alliance is not limited to Nigerian airlines, adding that the alliance originated from Nigeria but is open to the world.
This will help aviation and the sustainability of our operations, it will help the cause of the flying public to experience seamless commuting whenever they choose to.
“This is where we are today, so we are hereby putting our signatories to paper today. We are launching the idea that will revolutionise Nigeria’s scheduled flight operations for the better,” he stressed.
Speaking, Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Abdullahi Mahmood, noted that the formation of the Spring Alliance was a historic move, describing it as “one that prioritises the satisfaction of passengers.”
We have made history today and this is the first time something like this is happening in Nigeria’s aviation industry. You can see that the airline operators are fully committed to making sure that our passengers are satisfied.
“And like we say for every challenge, there is usually an opportunity and probably this is the time that we have seen an opportunity whereby the airlines can come together and have a healthy competition whereby at the end of the day we make our passengers happy and safe,” he stated.
Also, Chief Executive Officer of United Nigeria Airline, Obiora Okonkwo, stated that the alliance would revolutionise flight services for the Nigerian flying public, as passenger satisfaction remains the major objective behind the formation of the alliance, The Trumpet gathered.
“There is no doubt that Nigerian airlines are going through some situations and part of the ways to react to this is to have the passengers in mind. It is simply thinking out-of-the-box.
“We are not reinventing the wheel, we are just adopting what we have seen that has worked in other places, and it will surely work in Nigeria so that the passengers going to the airport are more guaranteed that they will fly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Russian-Ukrainian is threatening to ground the country’s aviation sector as a result of scarcity and very expressive cost of aviation fuels since the outbreak of the war in the middle of February 2022.
The Trumpet findings revealed that as a result of both expensive aviation fuel and the high cost of the product many local airlines are unable to keep to their flight’s schedules, resulting in delays of flights and sometimes, outright cancellation.
Findings during the week showed that in January 2021 aviation fuel was sold for N190 per litre, while at the end of last year, the product was sold for N360 per litre.
Investigation showed that before the outbreak of the war, the price of the product was sold for about N400 per litre, while as a result of the suspension of Russian crude oil in the international market the price of the product in Nigeria stands between N550 and N650 per litre depending on your location.
An official of Arik Airline, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that many airlines are unable to buy the product, adding that has led them to ground many of their aircraft across the airports.
To source, the expensive product for about a month now had led to the cancellation of many scheduled flights and as a result, the airlines have not been able to buy the product.
In the source words, “Just over a week ago, jet fuel was sold for between N445 and N460 per litre, Lagos and Abuja.
“As of March 10, 2022, the price of the product has climbed from N650 to N700 per litre. As we speak, many airlines are grounded. Most fuel dealers are not selling their product unless you’re ready to pay for the product ahead of when they will supply your airline,” he said.
It would be recalled that Nigeria depends on 100 percent for its aviation fuel.