First Nation Airplane
Chairman of FirstNation Airways, Kayode Odukoya, has said it was not mode of funding and ownership that could guarantee the success of any airline, but the quality of the management.
Odukoya noted that the type of management of airlines determines whether that airline will operate profitably or not.
The chief executive stated in an interview that it was not an airline that has institutional investors that was guaranteed of survival, remarking that many airlines that had institutional investors in the past had collapsed.
“In Nigeria there are institutional investors before now. Institutional investors set up Virgin Nigeria, institutional investors owned Pan Africa airlines. There are individual airlines, Richard Branson owns Iberia, Easy Jet is owned Styless, RynAir is owned by Micheal Olery, so there is no yard stick that airlines owned by institutions will survive, more institutional owned airlines have failed. What is important is the quality of management of that airline; that is what will make the airline thrive.”
Odukoya also said that there was need for bailout because that was the trend all over the world, observing that major carriers in the world sometime go cap in hand to their governments to bail them out when they are in financial crunch.
“Bailout is good because if they bail the banks out why can’t they bail the infrastructure out? I think we should not be narrow-minded; it doesn’t matter whether we get the bailout. Bailouts are two types: either physical policies, tax relief, low cost of fuel by the US, like the UK they will tell you there is no bailout but they are owing money at single digit. There is already a bailout indirectly of 18 per cent of the British carriers and the American carriers.”
Odukoya said that what was good for the country was to have a strong airline industry, as air transport was life blood of any economy, adding that government should strike a balance towards designating foreign airlines to both Abuja and Lagos.