Anyim Pius Anyim , SGF
In compliance to the directives by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to see to the reduction of air fares on domestic flights, airlines have begun the cut down fares in the country.
Speaking with newsmen in Lagos, Chairman of IRS Airlines, Alhaji Isyaku Rabiu, said the airlines took the decision in order to support the government for the effort its making to resolve the high cost of air travel, occasioned by the high cost of aviation fuel, otherwise known as JET A1.
He said they were more concerned with easing the sufferings of the travelling public whom he said can no longer travel by air but road because most passengers cannot afford the new price.
He noted that hike in airfares have forced some air travelers to resign to the fair comfort of executive land shuttles.
Rabiu, who declined to disclose how much the airlines cut and has effected, however noted that the cut was reasonable and one that would be attractive for travelers.
Also Chanchangi Airlines has also reduced fares to N25, 000; a clear departure from the N30, OOO charged by many airlines for an hour journey.
The Assistant Secretary General of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Alhaji Mohammed Tukur confirmed the development, he however, commended IRS for taking the initiative.
He faulted the action of the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi on the stoppage of rise Bi-Courtney airport terminal charges, stressing that she was not fair to the terminal operator.
“How can a minister ask the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to continue to charge N1,000, the same amount with a private terminal like Bi-Courtney with all the facilities in the place? Where is justice in this whole arrangement?
“We accept that N2, 500 is much, but there should be a balance. We are ready to work with the minister as far as she is fair and just and avoid issues that will bring problems that consumed her predecessors,” he said.
He called on the NCAA Director General, Dr. Harold Demuren to take full for the arbitrary increase in air fares, adding that it was his duty to regulate the astronomical increase in air fares.
He disclosed that the AON would soon meet with the NCAA to compare the charges, adding that it is from these charges that the terminals are maintained, advising that “the minister must not allow herself to be misled.”