DIRECTOR General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) Captain Musa Nuhu has advised airlines plying regional and international routes to always carry the regulatory authority along in their expansions so as avoid being exploited.
Recall that of late one of Nigeria’s major carriers have complained about exploitative treatment in some West Coast destinations stating that government has not come to their aid.
However, the director general who was guest of the League of Aviation and Airport Correspondents (LAAC) Gateway Forum said the NCAA, if carried along, knows how to wade in, reciprocate and protect the airlines.
Captain Nuhu said, ” The airlines should always carry the NCAA, the Ministry of Aviation and the Nigerian embassy in the country they are flying into along, we are here to help them grow, they should carry us along, it will be very helpful when the airlines carry the regulatory body along.
“And when they have difficulties, they should complain to us, we will sit with them and guide them and even go with them, there must be fairness from both sides,” he said.
Meanwhile, Captain Nuhu also explained that governments palliatives will only be given to operational airlines with valid Air Operator Certificate (AOC) who would access whatever is being tabled.
The palliatives to be given by government has been touted to take different forms, some of which is rumoured to be single digit loans for a number of years.
However, the NCAA helmsman said the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), would not err in putting forward a defunct airline for the palliative.
“Any airline can apply, whether functioning or not but it is a policy that participating airlines must be functioning and with Air Operators Certificate. I also believe that the AON has its own set of rules and they know the criteria, I believe the AON will not put forward a non- functioning airline, he said.
On the economic viability of Nigerian airlines, the DG explained that the COVID-19 has levelled even the strongest of carriers dufferent from what is happening and most are being handed bailouts to survive across the globe.
“The financial health of airlines is not limited to Nigerian airlines, it is a global issue, especially due to the impact of COVID-19. We have seen airlines that have gotten millions of dollars in subsidies from their governments, and they still have issues. Many airlines have sacked workers, BA, Emirates, Lufthansa sacked workers and are withdrawing some aircraft. It is a global thing. But government is working on the palliative,” he added.