Sunday , 3 July 2022
Mr. Bankole Bernard Group Managing Director Finchglow

No unviable airports in Nigeria, it takes right competence to grow traffic- Finchglow boss

CHIEF Executive Officer (CEO), Finchglow Travels a subsidiary of Finchglow Holdings, Mr. Bankole Bernard, has said that there are no unviable airports in the country, if the managers of these airports take time out to ensure activities are put in those airports so as to boost non- aeronautical revenue as well as aeronautic.


Bernard who spoke on sundry issues when he was visited in his Island office by the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents ( LAAC) said as the situation currently stands airports, even the ones with less flight activities have picked up showing that the average Nigerian is gradually accepting to fly for one hour instead if spend 24 hours on the roads.


He said,” As a matter of fact, let me tell you that airport terminals are no longer what they used to be. As a matter of fact, in some countries, they have turned their airports into a shopping malls – local and international where you can do and undo with a lot of things and that alone attracts passengers to ply such airport.


“So, if we have such a viable business outlook, why should we continue to say an airport is not commercially viable? There are quite a lot of things that we need to do and when we put those things in the right perspective, an airport becomes commercially viable.


He continued, “Do you know that the Baltimore/Washington International (BWI), Thurgood Marshall Airport in United States as small as it is, it is an active airport? It is active because they are building more shops and renovating the place so people can enjoy the airport.


“Akure airport for instance had only one airline going there before, but now about three airlines go there. Are you still saying the traffic is still the way it was? Let me remind you at this point that Nigerians are constantly developing the culture of flying.


“Statistics reveal that the recovery of travel in Nigeria is the highest in the world. The figure is higher than the world and continent figures. But this is the same place where we have no money nor do we have a national carrier. This tells you that there is a culture. We have developed the flying culture and the number keeps increasing by the day. If the number is increasing by the day, it means it is a viable market.”


On things to do and not to do in trying to get airports commercially viable, Bernard said,”How do you make an airport viable when you only put on the generator when you have an aircraft approaching and the moment the aircraft lands, you put off the generator again? This will not be viable because you have lost communication, so even when people show up and they can’t get electricity, they will probably stop.


“There are quite a lot of things we need to do to make our airports commercially viable as long as there is a genuine interest and we give it to those that are passionate about the industry and not give it to our friends to manage.


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