Chairman CEO, Air Peace Airline, Barr. Allen Onyema, Managing Director, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc, Mr. Basil Agboarumi and Managing Director/CEO, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria [FAAN], Capt. Hamisu Yadudu during the 23rd edition of LAAC Annual Conference/Awards held at the Raddison Blu Hotel, Ikeja recently.
The managing director of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema has called on the federal government to stop the multiple frequencies given to foreign airlines to operate into the country.
Onyema stated that policies of multi designation of frequencies to foreign carriers will not encourage Nigerian investors to invest in the country and keep the job and the money here.
Speaking at the 2019 League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents, LAAC, seminar in Lagos with the theme: Boosting aviation investments through policy, Onyema said Nigerian airlines can never grow if Turkish airlines and others fly from Istanbul to Abuja and from there to Port Harcourt and to Abuja and back to Istanbul.
This is not done anywhere, the government should help us stop the proliferation of designation and frequencies to these foreign airlines, Onyema said.
According to him,” protecting us is not just bringing up policies to hound any airline but also stooping some of the decision giving this multiple frequencies. It will go a long way to protect Nigerian airlines”.
Air Peace boss noted that foreign airline operators are the major problem of the domestic airlines.
He called on Nigerian airlines to support each other and to collaborate with African airlines so that they can form a formidable force against the foreign airlines and compete favourably with them.
Onyema said Air Peace is not a weak airline as it would be taking delivery of more aircraft in few months time to strengthen its operations .
He said: “We should form alliance between ourselves as local airlines and also in Africa and our agreement should be based on a win-win situation.”
“Since the foreign carriers have been operating into Nigeria, how many jobs have they created for Nigerians. Since we began four years ago, we have created over 3,000 jobs, we have employed over 150 pilots and we only have 30 expatriates pilots.”
“The earlier Nigerian airlines begin to come together, the better for us.
In America foreign carriers do not do multiple destinations; in Nigeria, not only do we have multiple destinations for the foreign airlines, we also give them multiple frequencies at the detriment of our own local airlines.
If we support Nigerian airlines, 95 percent of them will succeed. We must begin to have deliberate policies to support our local airlines.”
Onyema said the single aviation market is a fraud because there is no level playing field among Nigerian airlines and other foreign airlines.
“The government is on a good track by giving us all the waivers they gave us. The next thing is the ravaging of this country by foreign airlines, if that is not stopped it will continue to deplete our reserves through the money they pile out of this country and trying to pretend that they love us more than they themselves. If we get it right , with the right policies in aviation, there are so many rich people in this country that can even turn aviation round but a lot are not ready to come into aviation because they are scared of certain policies”.