Airlines Operators Task FG over Failed Airlines

…say over 45 airlines have gone under in Nigeria

The Federal Government has been advised to set up a probe panel to unearth the reasons behind the high rate of operational failures of domestic airlines in the country.

Chief Executive Officer, Air Peace Airline, Mr. Allen Onyema, who made the call, said that it is imperative that the government should set up a consultancy firm to find out why domestic airlines fail in their operations in the country.

Speaking at the Airline’s headquarters in Lagos recently, Onyema noted that the blame goes to everybody in the aviation industry including the government, airline owners as well as the passengers.

“Let the government set up a consulting firm to find out why domestic airlines fail in operation in the country in a bid to solve the problems in the aviation industry once and for all”,  he said.

A report revealed that from 1958 to date over 45 domestic airlines have shut down their operations while there are only eight domestic airlines currently in operation. The eight operational airlines are FirstNation Airways, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Medview Airline, Air Peace Airline, AZMAN Air, Overland Airways and Dana Airline.

Onyema pointed out some of the major challenges responsible for the failure of most domestic airlines to include high cost of aviation fuel (JET A1), high cost of insurance, harsh operating environment, lack of unity amongst airline operators, harsh policies of the government and multiple charges.

According to him, other problems are lack of foreign exchange, lack of spare parts, lack of maintenance facilities like the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility amongst others.

The Air Peace’s boss said that there are about 37 charges levied on airline operators by the airport authorities such as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) among others.

“If these taxes are not reduced, more airlines will die. Even some legislations lead to the failure of airlines”, he said.

Onyema said that the price of aviation fuel has gone down all over the world but it remains high at N215 in Nigeria, adding that in other climes fuel cost takes about 45 per cent but in Nigeria it is as high as 75 per cent cost of operation.

Commenting on insurance as another major challenge facing the airlines, he noted that the airlines are made to pay huge amount of money to insure their aircraft, adding that it is mostly done in conjunction with foreign insurance firms through third party insurance.

“All the insurance companies put together in Nigeria cannot insure one aircraft without collaboration with their foreign counterparts”, Onyema noted.

Earlier, General Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority of Nigeria (NCAA), Mr. Sam Adurogboye, said that when the agency started in 2000, there were about 150 airlines in its register.

Adurogboye said:  “At the time NCAA started in January 2000, we had about 150 airlines in our register. In 2006, the number came down to 28, the rest went under. It was not because NCAA did not do its regulation properly. At a point the number reduced to 12 and as we speak, we have eight airlines. It is because we do what we need to do, that is why those who have to fizzle out will naturally fizzle out”

Recalled that some of the domestic airlines shut down operations when the Nigerian government, in an effort to ensure better services and safety, set a deadline of April 30, 2007, for all airlines operating in the country to re-capitalise or be grounded.

Seven airlines failed to meet the deadline and were banned from flying in Nigeria’s airspace with effect from April 30, 2007. Some of the affected airlines were ADC Airlines, Fresh Air, Sosoliso Airlines, Albarka Air, Chrome Air Service, Dasab Airlines and Space World Airline.

The airlines that have gone under since 1958 include ADC Airlines, Afrijet Airlines, Air Atlantic Cargo, Air Nigeria, Albarka Air, AL-AIR Al-Dawood Air, Amako Air, Amed Air, Arax Airlines, Axiom Air, Barnax Air, Bellview Airlines, Capital Airlines, Chrome Air Service, Dasab Airlines, Earth Airlines, EAS Airlines, Easy Link Aviation, Freedom Air Services, Fresh Air, GAS Air Nigeria, Hamsal Air, Harco Air Services, Hold-Trade Air, British Aircraft Corporation.

Others are: IAT Cargo Airlines, Intercontinental Airlines (Nigeria), Mangal Airlines, Meridian Airlines, Nicon Airways, Nigeria Airways, Nigeria One, Nigerian Global Aviation, Okada Air, Overnight Cargo Nigeria, Pan African Airlines, Premium Air Shuttle, Sosoliso Airlines, Space World International Airlines, Trans Sahara Air, Triax Airlines, Virgin Nigeria, Wings Aviation, Sosoloso Airline, Chachangi Airline among others.


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