Olowo calls for transforming religious tourism funds to clear Nigeria's debts
President Sabre Network West Africa, Dr. Gabriel Olowo

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]resident Sabre West Africa, Dr. Gabriel Olowo has advised airlines to avoid pitfalls of the past attributing 60% of their failures on the international scene to the Ministry who have expressed no confidence in their flying premium routes by words or action but instead offer the airlines red routes which endangers their survival.

‘Red routes’ according to his views are routes that may make or break the airline because it is not considered the preferred destination for the populace and so is unpopular to the flying public with all its attendant challenges.

Olowo made this known at the just concluded 27th League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) Conference with the theme: “Aviation Industry: Changing Times, Changing Strategies where he equally attributed 40% failure to the airlines for accepting those routes.

He asked the airlines to change strategy and not commit harakiri in an effort to prove they can do something to please the ministry who have expressed no confidence in them. READ ALSO: Captain Nuhu, Iyayi say airlines’, govt agencies’ strategies stunt aviation industry

Olowo said during the panellist discussion that,”One major percentage of the failure, I would attribute to the government 60% and it is not only in Nigeria, in Africa. Failure of the economy, failure of the industries, policies of government, your country’s risk in particular. In country risk, airlines face serious problems on their insurance because of country risk. You know all these challenges and they have been since the past and you are coming in as a new operator and you don’t change your perspective, that same thing will kill you.

“The Ministry of Aviation has no confidence in its airlines because it will tell its performing airline, ‘you will disgrace the flag’ even though that airline is throwing its shirt to prove a point it keeps on operating red routes.

“They give you red routes to operate and you operate those red routes to prove a point that you will not disgrace the flag, meanwhile you are already flying the flag. This is why I attribute 60%factor failure to the government.

He continued, “The remaining 40% is to the airlines. As an operator, I will not touch a red route! If I fly a route for three months and it’s in the red, I am going to quit because if i don’t  quit trying to prove a point to your government that ‘I can survive’ by the time i discover it,  it would be that an aircraft has tumbled, you’re in the red and ground operations. 

“Let me tell you a case study of Air Peace: I want to fly to London, Ministry: No you can’t. For whatever reason, go and fly india, go and fly Israel, go and fly China. That happened to one airline I don’t want to mention names. But by the time you discover it, your books are in the red.” He said.

According to him, Nigerian airlines should learn from the errors of the past so part of the strategies they would change is avoiding the errors of the past so  they are not  heading for the loss

He equally asked if they had studied those that came before to see where and why they failed

Dr. Olowo said,”Do they sit down to analyse why some of these airlines’ fail? Most of the time, from my own experience, I was overused in the foreign airlines and then battered and beaten in the Nigerian airlines. Twenty three years in foreign airlines’ I brought that to the Nigerian sector and what I saw at the Nigerian sector  suggests to me that the airline investors don’t learn from the mistakes of the past because they tow the same line all over again and in ten-twelve years, they are out.


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