A former Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Engineer Benedict Adeyileka, Chief Executive of Ezuma Jets, Captain David Augustine have that any policy produced which kills local operators and encourages foreigners kills the nation’s economy.
This is just as another player, Chief Executive of JetWest Mobility, Dikko Nwachukwu has highlighted opportunities for Africa that have manifested in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic stressing that tapping into these will give luxury operators required boost.
The three were speakers at the launch of Avantefly mobile app at the Marriott Hotel, Ikeja Lagos last week,speaking on issues surrounding luxury travels and how much of an impact the Avantefly app would have in aiding to raise the bar in that sphere of travel.
Adeyileka who is also the former Rector, International Aviation College (IAC), while speaking explained policies need to be made to encourage private jet operators because it is not about the individual business but its contribution to the economy.
He said there must be enough encouragement so that people can actually use savings or borrow from banks to purchase assets for business and be confident that the policies will protect them as a lack of local content meant foreigners had access to the huge market and were cashing out.
He said,”We must have a situation where we must encourage people to go out either use their savings or borrow money from the banks and buy this aircraft and bring it here. once we do that internally, we can now discourage people that will come from outside the country get all our business because of lack of transparency and capacity and they take the money and take it away. They don’t employ our pilots, they don’t employ our engineers, they might use our dispatchers but …so I am looking deeper and deeper, when you look at it, I like to look inward. We must encourage all these airlines to prosper.
“It not just about the airline or owner of the airline but it is about the economy of the country, the only way we can stop these leakages we have now is to have our own manpower development, is to have our own internal development. I don’t want a situation where there is lack of capacity and people from outside the country will come inside the country and take the market.
He said,”Private jet industry is a different ball game here, there is a lot of things that need to be done we need help and apart from the fact that we need help; we need encouragement and trust me, NCAA is doing a lot now it is doing their best I can walk into any office and get the help I need, they are making it easier for us.
“When I was coming in, I was told only the rich could fly private jets but that is not true, there is something called seat sharing, I personally went to Trade Fair market to talk to people and I have four clients , initially they said, ‘you know what we have been looking at private jets for those guys up there’ and I said no, you can afford it.
“We need the government to help us out there with easier policies, licenses coming out,make AOCs easier but understand that because we are Nigerians we don’t have to cut corners.
“I want us to understand that the private Jet industry is an industry that can bring so much change into the Nigerian economy.”
“Opportunities are vast. one area where I see a lot of opportunities is partnerships and that is why we are glad with what Avantefly is offering. Whether its private jets, hotels, luxury car services these are important to the luxury charter business, when I can come to your website and see that you have partnerships with some of the biggest brands globally, it gives confidence.