This is just as he bemoaned that the airline sub-sector in Nigeria continues to face unpredictable cost, due to the devaluation of naira against other international currencies and irregular availability of jet fuel, stressing that these and many others increased the operational and technical cost of airlines.
Captain Modibbo who was in Lagos speaking at conference organised by the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) with the theme: Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy and Regulation, also said a well-orchestrated recovery plan will help the industry overcome its current challenges and compete favourably in the new order.
According to him, the theme: Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy and Regulation,’ was apt and meant new ways of doing things for the sector to wriggle out of the current challenges, caused by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the sector at present required direct injection of continued financial support, provision of credits, offer of deferrals and discounts on charges and most especially concessions.
He lamented that globally, the airline sub-sector was facing a “throat-cutting” competition especially from low-cost airlines amidst dwindling passengers due to the pandemic, stressing that airlines on the continent were worst hit by the crisis.
He said: “As a result, operational services deteriorated when normal flight services were resumed, followed by frequent scheduled flight challenges and exorbitant ticket prices. This could be a symptom of the larger financial strain that airlines currently face. Fortunately here in Nigeria the airlines are tremendously picking up tempo with an encouraging passenger turn out.
“Governments and donor institutions should provide the funds to ensure the survival and the business continuity of key stakeholders of the aviation industry as recommended by the African Aviation Industry Group (AAIG) in 2020.”
Madibbo, however, lauded the Federal Government for investing in infrastructure across the various airports, despite the plans to privatize or concession the aerodromes.
He charged the operators to emulate their counterparts across the globe by adopting merger and aircraft leasing to help address the challenges of competitiveness and financial capacities, standardisation of sanitation and safety issues and norms to increase customer confidence.
Captain Modibbo also said that NCAT has been positioned as an institution with various upgrades its curriculum in tune with the current situation of heightened operations, security, sanitation and the digital transformation of the industry.
“We need to look deeply into the changes, which the aviation value chain is undergoing to enable us design the training requirements that will critically produce the workforce a post-pandemic aviation industry will require,” he added.