The Federal government has said it would
collaborate with Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) once they are ready to raise the standard of their services.
The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, disclosed this on Tuesday, when members of the AON led by Dr. Abdulmunaf Yunusa, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.
Keyamo, who in a statement by, the Head, Press and Public Affairs, Odutayo Oluseyi stated that the visit by the AON was a follow-up of a private visit made earlier by the association, said,…”I don’t want to operate as a ghost, I said one of my policies is to operate an open policy… I said, bring up your challenges so that Nigerians would understand exactly where Government and Airlines Operators stand,” he said.
Keyamo assured of a possible review of all BASA agreements, stressing the need for AON to renew and repair their fleets to encourage passenger patronage.
Disclosing his readiness to support the growth and sustenance of the local airlines’ operators while holding them to the highest international standards in the aviation industry, Keyamo noted that they are critical to the growth and development of the aviation industry and the country at large, hence the government is ready to help them operate profitably.
He also pleaded with the airline operators to cooperate among themselves to find a way to establish their businesses such that they will have enough capital to survive instances like Covid 19 pandemic.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria promised to suggest to the government the possibilities of AON accessing facilities at single digits, including associated foreign exchange Afex to meet their foreign obligations.
While welcoming investors to establish commercial MROs in Nigeria, Kayamo stated that during his administration, a futuristic master plan will be developed to accommodate everything that will make Nigeria an aviation hub in Africa while employing all airlines to utilise their Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) routes to reduce the prices of airfare.
Earlier, the President of AON, Dr. Abdulmunaf Yunusa presented a paper through Captain Roland Iyayi who highlighted some of the constraints and challenges and probable solutions to Nigeria’s aviation industry.
Among the challenges highlighted are: foreign exchange, Jet A1 fuel, cost of capital and funding options, infrastructure, taxes, fees and charges as well as government policies.
AON while proposing a solution requested for licences for Jet A1 importation and distribution through strategic partnership and an immediate review of all industry taxes, fees, and charges.
They also called for an immediate renegotiation of all existing BASA and Multilateral Air Service Agreements (MASA) in line with the provision of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM), with emphasis on the principle of reciprocity in favour of domestic airlines.