Chief Executive of Medview Airlines, Alhaji Muneer Bankole has called for the empowerment of Nigerian carriers to enable them to have a huge market share and fairly compete with global airlines by reduction on charges, providing friendly policies for airlines and looking into the high interest rates of domestic banks among others.
Speaking at the 21st League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) Annual seminar titled Achieving a Win-Win situation in the Aviation sector, Bankole threw various challenges to the government and media and provided solutions to save the domestic airlines
Alhaji Muneer Bankole, Medview CEO
Bankole represented by a General Manager in his company, Mr. Itydugh Emmanuel, highlighted some of the challenges to the local airlines some of which are over charges by government agencies of which some were PSC, TSC, Navigation, Landing, Parking, FIRS, VAT and for this he called for Government agencies’ charges to be reduced by between 50 to 65% to local carriers
He also decried the high price of Jet A1, Aviation Fuel which is a major index of expenses; and was disappointed on the multiple entry points granted other mega carriers which enables them airlift passengers meant for domestic carriers to solve the Jet A1 malaise he advocated that price of fuel should be considerably reduced and to ensure the availability of the product all-year-round.
Bankole also said that spare parts and the cost of maintenance were high and in foreign currency while ticket sales were in local currency making it difficult for airlines to actually break even.
He also decried the cost of training and security challenges that make it difficult for airlines to operate from 0700 hours and 1800 hours.
Stating the challenges and proffering solution, Bankole said,” Unfavourable government policies: the local airlines are not favoured by the granting of foreign airlines multiple entry ports into the country. One airline lands at Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and Kano for example. This does not leave any passenger for the airlift of such passengers to the local destinations by local carriers. The policy of multiple entry policy has to be reviewed. Any foreign airline seeking multiple entry ports must partner with a local airline before permission is granted”
“Spare parts are purchased in foreign currencies while tickets are sold in local currency. This makes the cost of aircraft maintenance in Nigeria very high hence it’s a major challenge to local airlines. The cost of importation of spare parts is gradually increasing. The solution to this is simple, there should be 100% waiver on importation of aircraft spare parts for all local airlines.”
On the double digit bank charges on loans, Bankole said, “High cost of bank charges on loans poses a great deal of problem to the airlines. No encouragement here. Access to one digit loan for airlines should be encouraged by CBN with favourable repayment plan. Moreover, the government can provide equipment to the local airline as support rather than giving out funds.”
“Security challenges: some airports operate from 0700 to 1800 local time only. All domestic airports should be improved and secured against stowaways, animal invasion and proper navigational aids and lighting system”
On manpower development he said, “Training of airline indigenous personnel like pilots are not available in Nigeria. The cost is very high. Equip NCAT to handle pilot’s simulators; encourage technocrats to equip hangers to carry out C checks in Nigeria”
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