Nigeria’s first airline codeshare seen as game changer for aviation industry

Mr. George Uriesi, COO, Ibom Air (Left) in handshake with Mr. Obi Mbanuzo, Accountable manager/COO, Dana Air, shortly after the signing of the agreement in Uyo on Friday.


..analysts project could spur new partnerships among operators

…Dana, Ibom air make history


Posted by Sade Williams


The first ever Codeshare/Interline agreement between two domestic airlines, Dana Air and Ibom Air which happened at the weekend, may give rise to other partnerships that would strengthen the businesses of the operators, analysts have observed.

Although, experts have consistently urged the operators to consider merger as one way to cushion the effect of harsh operating environment and help them remain afloat, the airlines have not really looked at that side as many also argued that their differences in business models and others, may not support mergers and acquisitions.

Apart from mergers, Codeshare and interline are other ‘tools’ global airlines have adopted and use as wings to climb when there is ‘turbulence’.

New to Nigerian airlines but not new in global aviation practice, two domestic airlines decided to start such alliance by signing the dotted lines and making it public that they will work together for the good of the passengers and the sector at large.

“This is a welcome development because we have been preaching partnerships, alliance and so on. This step taken by Dana and Ibom Air is likely to ignite the many new alliances in the sector and that will ultimately lead to the main thing.

” Now is when airlines need to work together and not any other time, they need to explore everything and areas where synergy can be achieved”, a stakeholder said.

Interlining and Codeshare allow passengers to book through itineraries on multiple airlines with less hassle than booking each one separately. Usually, if two airlines have an interline agreement in place, they will handle the check in and baggage for each other’s passengers.

Advising the airlines recently, Director General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, there is need for Nigerian airlines to start putting their resources together as the region welcomes Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), adding that only cooperation and partnerships in different forms will enable them harness the huge potentials of air transportation in the region.

According to him, ‘we can only create the enabling environment for their businesses to thrive, we cannot force them on cooperation but the benefits inherent in cooperation and partnerships are huge, IATA has dedicated a clearing house, there is need for members of Airline Operators of Nigeria to work together and interline, it makes their operations more efficient and saves cost.

“We have a huge market, I don’t see why Nigerian airlines cannot dominate the West and Central African region, we have over 600 million passengers and they could do 60 million, with partnerships, these are possible”, he said.

Already, Dana and Ibom Air have indicated interest to cooperate in areas such as maintenance in other to save cost.

George Uriesi, Chief Operating Officer of Ibom Air, said since Dana Air has the same philosophy as theirs, they will explore all means of cooperation with each other.

“It means that two airlines are going to operate basically as one offering joint service to our customers , It means finding the right partner with the same mind set as yours. And I am happy that Dana Air has exactly the same philosophy as Ibom Air, we are committed to excellence, to providing the basics for customers, schedule reliability and on-time performance and excellent service and it is a philosophy that tie Ibom Air and Dana together. We are very hopeful that this new better way of doing the business in the country, we look forward to very fruitful alliance that hopefully, at some points, other airlines will join, it is worth emulating.

” Every time, the airline seat is a very perishable item, once that door closes, any seat that are not occupied are perished forever, so the airline aims to put as many people onboard as possible. So if we have 65 passengers and we close the door and go with that but because if because of the Dana alliance, 15 more passengers join, we will be carrying 85 passengers, if you review that, you will be surprised how many more passengers come on your flights as a result of the alliance.

“The alliance is not just on passengers level, we plan to synergise in many ways, we want to synergise our schedules and many other things including maintenance at some point. We are going to try to pull resources to work together as an airline” , he said.

Obi Mbanuzo, Accountable manager/Chief Operating Officer of Dana Air, added: going further, we can look at other synergies so the savings can come from those synergies. For instance, we have a good maintenance workshop, we are about to get our Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility going . I cam also see that the Government of Akwa Ibom has its MRO, with this, we will be strengthening our relationships but not necessarily a merger”, he said.

Leave a Reply

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



Check Also

Arik Air removes CRJ 1000 from fleet

    Posted by Sade Williams   Arik Air, Nigeria’s leading airline, has announced the ...