The managing director of Med-View Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole has said that the Nigeria aviation environment is not conducive for domestic airlines.
Speaking during an interview at the 22nd League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents, LAAC seminar at the Sheraton Hotel in Lagos, Alhaji Bankole stated that the industry is bedevilled by so many political issues, security threats, financial issues, excess charges, weather, taxes and others.
In the words of Bankole: “For now, those of us who are still in the business, I will say we give thanks to God for helping us in sustaining this momentum. It has never been easy, are you talking about the charges? We kept saying it many years back. Are you talking about the taxes, the weather, we just have to thank God that we have kept the business going”.
On the prospect the new national carrier holds for domestic operators, Bankole stated that there is need to give the promoters of the airline the opportunity to come out and tell everybody the template.
According to him, the airline is still being talked about in Farnborough, when it comes to the country we have to sit down and ask questions.
On weather the introduction of the national carrier will enable the domestic airlines come together stronger in their business, Med-View boss explained that It is not possible because only few domestic airlines are surviving as only 5 or 6 carriers are now operating, adding that he met 26 when he joined the business.
He said the new national carrier will not pose any threat to Med-View and some other airlines that know their onions.
“There is definitely no threat, once you know your onions, they will operate normally like an airline, the only thing is that they should not take the government and peoples funds, it should be privately driven,” Bankole said.
Commenting on the delivery of its Boeing 777-200 aircraft, Bankole observed that: ” It has been one of our dreams, for you to survive in this business you must acquire assets. Assets in three layers: assets in terms of equipment, asset in terms of building and asset in terms of cash outlay. If you don’t survive in any of those areas you might not be able to survive. So today Med-View is growing, we own four airplanes at the first time and we have been leasing one for our major business which is hajj. You have been seeing foreign carriers like Air Atlanta, Euro Atlantic over ten years ago and we thank God today. In the beginning of this year I will say we stopped the business of leasing. So today we have acquired a Boeing 777-200 ER”.
He disclosed that the Med-View IPO will be done this year, adding that its shareholders have all been informed including the acquisition of the aircraft.
“You know we went on listing and we are in the stock market and this year by the grace of God we will do the IPO. Our shareholders have all being informed, we also informed them about the acquisition of this aircraft.
On our routes, we have already expanded our route, we are not sealing consolidation. Don’t forget we are the only Nigerian carrier that flies international route, we are present in United Kingdom, UK with four flights, we are in Dubai, we have touched all the bases and we have structure on ground,” Med-View boss concluded.