…says airlines owe debts in operations globally
Posted by Sade Williams
The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), has denied defrauding aviation agencies to the tune of N19 billion, saying even airlines business worldwide is not a cash and carry business.
The AON was reacting to allegations that some airlines had diverted money meant to be remmitted to aviation agencies for personal use.
The association in a statement signed by its vice president, Allen Onyema, did not deny that some airlines owe bad debts but noted that the owing of debts in itself does not amount to fraud.
“AON wishes to state its very strong reservations for such accusations and we deny very strongly that our members are defrauding or defrauded government agencies of the said amount or any amount for that matter.
“Airline Operations, worldwide, is not a cash and carry business. Every airline in the world owes debts which are settled as their operations go on. Nigeria is not an exception.
“It is true that some of our members have very bad debts but not all our members owe such debts. The owing of debts in itself does not amount to fraud. We frown very strongly at the criminalization of all Nigerian airlines as a result of the said debts.” it said.
The statement noted that ‘arious parties were present at a stakeholders’ meeting and the DG NCAA did not at any time use such words to describe Nigerian airlines. Rather, the meeting ended on an amicable note with everyone agreeing to work together to address the debts.’
“It is pertinent to point out that some of these debts are owed by some airlines that are no longer in existence.
“We, however, advise our members with such bad debts to engage the agencies and put forward repayment plans. Airlines in Nigeria are operating under very harsh environment and need all the support from everyone.” it added.