Professor Obiora Okonkwo, United Nigeria Airlines Chairman, underscores the impact of infrastructure challenges on aircraft utilisation in Nigeria. He cautions against hasty expansion, highlighting that planes designed for 18 hours of flight only manage around 8 hours due to environmental factors.
Referencing the July 1, 2023 implemented six-aircraft regulation, Okonkwo compares: “Aircraft in Nigeria fly approximately 200 hours monthly compared to 3000 hours in other climes.”
Supporting this perspective, Professor Nwosu adds depth to the discussion by pointing out the root cause—lack of airport infrastructure. He questions the logic of adding more aircraft to underutilized ones and imposing travel restrictions. “Why limit travel to morning due to security concerns at sunset airports?”
Nwosu advocates for a strategic approach, urging authorities to prioritise infrastructure development before enforcing regulations. “The few aircraft we are flying internally are facing an infrastructure deficit.” He further proposed: “Expand the airport three times, expand the check-in counters.”
In the face of economic challenges, Nwosu emphasises:”To make this kind of transition within this critical period of economic downfall, these things must be considered.”