HomeAnalysisAirlines set to cut passenger load on govt order

Airlines set to cut passenger load on govt order

Operators of domestic airlines in Nigeria are set to begin operations from June 21, which is the date announced by the Federal Government for the commencement of commercial flight operations domestically.

Also, the airlines said they would comply with the order of the Federal Government as regards passenger reduction but asked the government to fast-track its aviation intervention programmes.

The Federal Government had announced on June 2 that domestic flights would resume on June 21 and directed airlines to take between 50 and 70 per cent of passengers on any flight.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had said, “The modality of operations by airlines and the passenger numbers will certainly drop and the load factor will also drop.

“Only 50 or 70 per cent of the passengers should be taken. These are some of the things that we have been looking at.”

Reacting to the aviation minister’s remarks, the Communications Manager, Dana Air, Okwudili Ezenwa, said the directive was done in good faith and would be complied with, but was quick to state that the government had to support airlines.

He said, “It depends on what the government will be putting on the table in terms of support for the airlines because we know that the industry is not booming right now.

“There are certain things we’ve been asking for before now, like the removal of VAT and the rest of them, which have not been implemented at the moment. So if the minister advises that we should do between 50 and 70 per cent, there’s no problem.”

Ezenwa said it would be tough to forecast how the business would pan out once flights resume fully and urged the government to fast-track its intervention in order to help airlines implement its recent directives.

He said, “We know the advice is in good faith, but we don’t know how the business is going to pan out upon resumption.

“So it will be nice for the government to fast-track its intervention for airlines so that jobs can be sustained and the aviation business can thrive.

“So it is in good faith and we accept his advice as the minister and at the same time ask that some of the things we’ve been asking for should be implemented.”

The Dana Air spokesperson further noted that all other guidelines of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority were being implemented by the carrier.

“The NCAA reeled out some guidelines recently and also requested trainings. It outlined some procedures and we are doing all that at the moment,” he stated.

On the serviceability of their airplanes based on the fact the machines had not been flown since the lockdown period, Ezenwa said, “We kept our engineers on ground all through the lockdown as part of safety consciousness.

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