Stakeholders in the aviation sector recently discussed the economic implications of the multiple entry points by foreign airlines into Nigeria, saying there is need for proper monitoring.
This was the focus of the Aviation Safety Round Table discussion held on March 31, 2022 at Golfview Hotels, Gra, Ikeja, Lagos with the theme “Economic Implications Of Multiple Entry Points By Foreign Airlines Into Nigeria”.
The Speakers at the event included Mr. Abayomi Jones E, Former MD/CEO, Nigeria Airways; Alhaji Abdulmunaf Y. S, President, Airline Operators of Nigeria; Senator Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister of Aviation; Capt. Prex Pobeni of ASRT; Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents (NANTA), Dr. Gbenga Olowo, President, ASRTI and Mr Andrew Okunnuga.
According to the resolutions made at the meeting and made available to newsmen by the Assistant General Secretary of ASRTI, Olumide Ohunayo; the stakeholders resolved that qualified professionals in Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) related issues should be engaged when attending meetings related to signing of BASAs between Nigeria and other countries.
The meeting also said the granting of multiple entry points to foreign airlines flying into Nigeria should be done in such a manner that it does not impede or work against the growth of domestic carriers and the economy, and as result, commercial discussions and investments in the airlines should be encouraged.
The meeting resolved that picking and dropping of passengers beyond the designated point of entry should be banned, while entry points to the secondary international airports should be granted to any one specific airline. It was observed that the current regime of multiple entry points into the country granted to airlines like Ethiopian, Qatar Airways, and others, may minimize the chances of success and survival of the proposed national carrier if it is eventually launched, hence all the multiple frequencies that have been granted to foreign airlines should be reviewed immediately.
It was also resolved at the meeting that there should be transparent procedures and national interest in activities related to granting of frequencies and entries to foreign airlines and Public officials responsible for approvals that are detrimental to the growth of the Nigeria Aviation industry should be sanctioned.
Other resolution made at the meeting said “It is imperative for government to support the private airlines such that Nigeria as a country can develop very strong airlines that can compete effectively with foreign airlines while also avoiding a situation where some private investors are giving more protections or concessions. Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) and other interested Nigerians should consider buying the 46% stake in the proposed national carrier and the government’s 5% when it is made available in a transparent process through the Nigerian stock exchange to expand the performance of the market and access to the proposed national airline”.