‘Political Leaders’ll Determine Success of Planned National Carrier’


Chinedu Eze

Aviation industry stakeholders have said that for the planned national carrier to succeed political leaders in the Ministry, the Presidency and the National Assembly must put the right legislation and regulation in place to make it succeed.

Former Managing Director of Capital Airline and Aviation Consultant, Etimfri Group, Amos Akpan, told THISDAY recently that while many Nigerians, especially aviators support the planned national airline, its success would depend on actions and decision taken by political leaders.

“On the issue of national airline, Nigeria has the money, the personnel, the training institutions, and the market to establish and run a national airline. The decision is with our political leaders. Do they want to see one up and running while in office or do they want to create juicy money making avenues that will distract them from meeting the target?” Akpan asked.

He noted that the plan for national carrier should not deter existing airlines that are private sector driven, noting that if they keep doing the right things in accordance to regulations they would continue to succeed in their operations.

“Existing commercial airline operators should continue to forge ahead. Aero Contractors should concentrate on growing its maintenance capacity, Arik should concentrate on its drive for new investors and improved corporate culture, Air Peace should concentrate on deepening its corporate culture, reassess her business portfolios, and understanding of the operational logistics and Medview should concentrate on sourcing for funds to acquire suitable aircraft and grow the Lagos – Kano – Jeddah route operations,” Akpan said.

He said that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Air Peace, Arik Air and the handling company, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO) should work out hassle-free transfer of passengers from the international terminal to domestic terminals in Lagos and Abuja; for the sole purpose of catching connecting flights.

According to him, for local airlines to succeed they must work together, adopt codeshare, whittle corruption among themselves and could recognise one another’s tickets.

“Today’s investors have to aggressively work to succeed in spite of the environment because there potential for growth in the industry. Operators should pull capacity per route. We must eliminate competition that is economically suicidal.

“Dana Air, Aero Contractors, Azman, Medview, Max Air should approach a bank with an IT program that will make it possible for a passenger billed to travel with any of the airlines to use the same ticket. The bank will sort out the monetary transfer to the carrier (notwithstanding the issuer),” he said.