Airline operators, FG differ over multiple routes for foreign carriers

Posted by Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos | 14 November 2018 | 1,246 times

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•Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika

 The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, recently justified the decision of the Federal Government to grant multiple destinations to Africa’s biggest carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, however, the local airline operators have said it wasn’t the right decision.

Ethiopian Airline currently flies into six locations in the country comprising Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Hacourt, Enugu and the latest being Kaduna which was added in 2017 amidst grumblings from some stakeholders who see the government’s action as detrimental to the growth of the domestic operators.

Many indigenous airline operators have also expressed reservation over granting multiple destinations to foreign airlines to deepen their operation and improve their profitability.

But Sirika noted that many people travelling from other states apart from the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, the two busiest airports, were traders whose profit margin was minimal.

He spoke during the fifth stakeholders’ meeting he convened in Abuja, last week.

According to him, government felt going to Lagos before connecting their destination especially Dubai would further shrink their already depleted profit.

According to him, since no Nigerian Airline has the capacity to fly those routes, it was reasonable to allow Ethiopian Airlines fill the connectivity gap.

But some operators who spoke with our correspondent disagreed with the Minister, insisting granting permit to a foreign airline to fly to six locations would not help domestic operators.

Excerpted from a Daily Trust report

Source: News Express

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