President Aviation Round Table (ART), Elder Gabriel Olowo confessed that the aviation industry has not moved forward in 50 years blaming the years of stagnation on cacophony of tunes sang by the airlines and stakeholders.
He made this known at the Breakfast Meeting of the Aviation Round Table Safety Initiative, stating that the personal interests of stakeholders far exceeded their drive for the national interest and that has led to the disunity and discordant tunes.
He said, “We the stakeholders are the cause of our stagnation for the past 50 years because of our discordant tunes based on personal interest and greed not on national interest. Too many issues, too many things on the front burner. “
He said that because of the different tunes, government too was doing something different that was opposite to what the stakeholders were crying out for.
“Industry is sick beyond remedy, industry is going one direction, government on another and government goes the other way because the players are speaking a discordant tunes.”
Speaking on the effect of foreign exchange as a challenge for the airline, Regional Manager, west Africa for British Airways, Mr. Kola Olayinka has decried the fact in Nigeria airlines are not part of code-shares, alliances and other business stating that airline business has gone beyond operating as an island.
Olayinka who spoke on his own capacity at the Breakfast Meeting said that there was not one code-share in Nigeria, not even a franchise explaining that for airlines to survive and grow in strength, they need to collaborate more.
According to him, the world has become complex with all the alliances ongoing but Nigerian airlines have not been seen in any form.
On the effect of foreign exchange scarcity, Olayinka said he would prefer to see it as an economic re-alignment stating that some of its effects range from the uncertainty affecting business to multiple unemployment stating that some agencies and airlines have opened up to present realities and are rationalization.
Olayinka, a veteran who has also worked with Nigerian Airways and Qatar Airways, also said the forex situation is also affecting government revenue as for each passenger the airline is government’s tax collector with the 5% tax on NUC as well as other taxes.