Posted by News Exrpess | 4 September 2020 | 614 times
The Federal Government has been told to as a matter of urgency come to the aid of indigenous airlines if it does not want them to go into extinction.
Capt. Ado Sanusi, the Managing Director, Aero Contractors gave the warning that if the Federal Government refused to address scarcity of foreign exchange early, the airlines may become a history.
He told journalists in Lagos that the airlines could not obtain forex to acquire aircraft, spare parts, payment of subscription and leases on aircraft.
He lamented that the airlines could not source forex from the autonomous markets, adding that the banks were not willing to assist in this regard.
He hinted that paucity of forex had made the airlines to default in payment of subscriptions and leases to aircraft owners.
He stated that though, naira was available; there was no dollar to buy even at the current rate of N470 to a dollar.
Sanusi emphasised that the current sordid situation had made the airline to return some helicopters and aircraft engines to their owner as it could not source forex for its operations.
He said: “The local airlines will survive only if the Federal Government in the provision of foreign exchange to the local airlines, if that is not done the airlines will die one by one because we cannot continue to source foreign exchange from autonomous markets at N470 to $1, even if you go there, you might find it difficult to find the dollar.
“I have returned two engines, I have returned helicopter, subscription for Boeing is due and am still trying to plead with them to give me another month because am still pleading with the bank to give us foreign exchange and they are saying the waiting period is three months, nobody will wait for you 3 months to pay your less rental or to pay your subscription.”
Sanusi noted that efforts being made by the body of operators seem not to yield the desired results as they continued to operate in this harsh environment.
“We are all in default now because we are looking for dollars not that we don’t have the naira we are looking for dollars to pay for subscriptions to pay for engine leases, so the airlines, will not survive if Federal Government does not intervene with dollars or with foreign exchange injection into the industry.
“Yes, I am sure the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has written and a lot of people have written, but we would also make a position known. I believe the Federal Government understands that they must intervene immediately or our airlines will go under one by one,” he warned. (Daily Independent)
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