The floating of a new national carrier by the Federal Government will eventually lead to the cessation of multiple entries into and out of Nigeria’s airspace by foreign airlines.
This was the view of a former Director of Medview Airline, Engineer Lookman Animashaun while speaking the suspended Nigeria Air project.
He strongly believed that lack of a very strong national carrier or flag carrier to compete with foreign airlines by offering reciprocal flights services to countries of these airlines that gave them the privilege of operating into more than one entry and exit point in Nigeria.
He asked:” Which of the Nigerian airlines were given multiple entries and exit points when they were operating into London, New York, Amsterdam, Paris and Dubai? None. Not even Nigeria Airways when it was in full operation”
Animashaun opined that once the new national airline is established with strong airline fleet and start operating into and out of the four international airports of Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja, with competitive airfares and good in-flight services, many of the foreign airlines will automatically exit themselves from operating multiple entries and exit points in Nigeria.
He said presently, “there is no privately owned Nigerian scheduled carrier can flex muscle with the foreign airlines in terms of fleet and quality of services.
As I speak to you, none of Nigeria registered carriers that earlier ventured into international routes of London, New York or Dubai are flying into those routes again.”
Engineer Animashaun, however, admonished government to jettison the idea of engaging expatriates in the establishment of Nigeria Air when the temporary suspension is lifted, rather, it should make use of Nigerian aviation professionals cum consultants at a very minimal cost rather than foreigners who would charge very huge amount of ‘hard’ currency.
The national carrier, he further advised should be established in such a way that within a short period of operations, it should be allowed to go public and be listed in stock exchange to allow Nigerians, both private and corporate entities invest in it.
On the recent advise to foreign airlines by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN), to consider using Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano international airports due to congestion at Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, Engineer Animashaun noted that MMIA presently ” is not at all congested by any operational standard.
How many flights or passengers do the terminal handle or processed daily compared with other international airports of repute?