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Business News of Friday, 29 July 2022

Source: www.nairametrics.com

Nigerian airlines losing N4.3 billion annually due to restrictions to operate 24 hours flights

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Nigerian airline operators are losing N4 million per flight, N360 million in 90 flights and about N4.3 billion annually due to restrictions to operate 24 hours flights daily to the airports of their choice.

This was disclosed by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ibom Air, Mr George Uriesi, at the 26th Annual Conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) on Thursday in Lagos, according to NAN.

Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Sunset Airports: Economic and Safety Implications”, the Ibom Air executive, said the restriction had led to a huge underutilisation of aircraft fleets by Nigerian airlines.

These facilities which are referred to as Sunset airports, do not have the infrastructure that enables flights to operate into the night. As a result, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) limited few that have the infrastructure to only daylight operation, meaning that flights cannot service such airports after 6:30 pm.

Uriesi said that Nigeria’s carriers were “losing an average of N4 million per flight, N360 million in 90 flights and about N4.3 billion annually to sunset airport operations.”

This restriction, Uriesi noted had led to a huge under-utilisation of aircraft fleets by the Nigerian airlines as against the global industry standards. He said this was partly because too many impediments were present in the operating environment that limit airline productivity.

“These include limited runway availability across the domestic network, multiple operational infrastructure deficiencies, poor organisation and many others,” he added.

Uriesi appealed to the government to prioritise airfield infrastructure and provide the necessary Instrument Landing System (ILS)., and also accompanying accessories for every airport, and keeping of the aerodromes open to meet the needs of airlines and other users.

He also advised that the government should make current, approved master plans a regulatory requirement for every airport and illegalise non-adherence to the master plan by any organization.

“Establishing a local aircraft lessor /financing vehicle that would allow for the domiciling of aircraft payments in local currency would make a huge difference to the air transport sector in Nigeria,” he added.

Nairametrics reported this week that the Federal Government stated that there are no immediate solutions to the crisis currently rocking Nigeria’s aviation sector, as it claims the issues are global.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, at a meeting with officials of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON).

Sirika said, “Energy crises is real and it is global. Today there is aviation fuel problem all over the world. From America to New Zealand. It is aggravating in Nigeria because we don’t produce the product.

“It is aggravated also because the foreign exchange is scarce in Nigeria and the source of earning the foreign exchange has also has dwindled.’’

The minister while pointing out some of the intervention measures the federal government as it had in the past sourced 10,000 metrics tonnes of aviation fuel for domestic airlines, adding that the government was willing to do more.