Moved by the pitiable condition of domestic airlines, Muneer Bankole, Managing director of Medview Airline has asked the Federal government to first of all, reduce charges imposed on the airlines by about 65 percent in order to ameliorate the sufferings of the carriers.
He spoke on ‘Empowering Nigerian carriers for better competition’ at the annual seminar organised by the League of Airport and Aviation correspondents, recently in Lagos.
He said another thing that the government should to immediately what can empower the Nigerian carriers to favourably compete with foreign airlines is to reduce the price of fuel considerably and ensure the availability of the product all-year-round.
He added that the policy of multiple entry for foreign airlines, has to be reviewed, advising that any foreign airline seeking multiple entry ports must partner with a local airline before permission is granted.
“There should be 100 percent waiver on importation of aircraft spare parts for all local airlines, there should be access to one digit loan for airlines by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with favourable repayment plan. Moreover, the government can provide equipment to the local airline as support rather than giving out funds.
“All domestic airports should be improved and secured against stowaways, animal invasion and proper navigational aids and lighting system, Government should also equip the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) to handle pilot’s simulators; encourage technocrats to equip hangers to carry out C checks in Nigeria”, he added.
He lamented that due to security challenge, some airports operate from 0700 to 1800 local time only, adding that airlines cannot operate beyond such restricted time even when they have the capacity to do so.
“The Nigerian market is such a huge one that a lot of Airlines have come in to” Lick the Oil” that the Local carriers are made just onlookers. The Nigerian airlines are faced with several “witches and wizards” which prevent them from growth and to face the giant-airlines in scrambling for their indigent passengers. The data of travelers out of Nigeria to other parts of the world on foreign airlines is alarming”, he said.