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Just In: New Airlines To Emerge Soon In Nigeria

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While some new entrants have expressed interest to commence ownership of airlines, others have reached various stages in the acquisition of their Air Operators Certificates (AOC).

It appears that the Nigerian aviation sector has defied the norms, as about 23 airlines (investors) are currently seeking to start their operations in the most populous black nation.

This was disclosed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in an exclusive interview granted Nairametrics by its General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye.

While some new entrants have expressed interest to commence ownership of airlines, Adurogboye disclosed that others have reached various stages in the acquisition of their Air Operators Certificates (AOC).

Some of the airlines are NG Eagle and Green Africa Airways, which have reached an advanced stage in the acquisition of an AOC. Rano Air, Northeast Shuttle and a host of others have expressed interest too but are still being considered.

He said, “We are currently treating and vetting about 23 applications. More are still coming to operate in Nigeria because they know and believe that there are several opportunities in the sector. Most importantly, a lot of them have seen the way safety issues have been tackled in the sector recently. These are the factors that must have boosted investors’ confidence in Nigerian airspace.

It’s a good thing to desire to come onboard. The process is a black and white thing. What you need to do in one phase to go to second, second to third, you fulfil it and the team that is in charge work as a team. It is not by the Director-General at any particular time. It’s a team of engineers, airworthiness inspectors, medical. It’s a team and nobody can influence the other.”

What they are saying

However, aviation experts appeared worried arguing that the nation does not need more airlines but big body aircraft, a friendly business environment and access to cheaper funds.

An Aviation Consultant, Muyiwa Lucas, told Nairametrics in a recent interview that what the nation needs are big body aircraft, as they can take more passengers and favourably compete with foreign counterparts, who seem to have an edge over them.

He said, “Currently Nigeria is experiencing low capacity. There are not enough aircraft seats to meet the demand of passengers. If airlines use bigger aircraft that can take more, it is cheaper than two or three airlines plying the same route and at the end of the day, they are not filled. So many people would want to fly now considering the security threats on the road; and air travel is also the fastest, safest and most reliable means of travel.”

Another hurdle that curbs growth in the industry is cheap credit. Capt. David Olubadewo, Managing Director, Starburst Aviation Limited and a Nigerian based in the UK, explained that most of the airlines and other industry stakeholders could not access cheaper loans because banks believe that the sector is too difficult to invest in.

“But that is wrong. It is not different from other sectors. We are all in it to make a profit at the end of the day. I don’t obtain loans from Nigerian banks, because I will end up with a 25% loss or more, but that is not happening in the UK where I pay far less interest rates.

If I take such a loan in Nigeria, it means I am -25 percent (interest rate) in red, and by the time you get to the top, you are owing millions. I cannot approach any of the banks to give me local money to do business in Nigeria. If I can go through that, you can imagine the experiences of the airlines.”

What you should know

Last March, Nairametrics reported on the stages airlines need to cross before they can secure their AOCs in Nigeria.

Aviaton

Bandits didn’t shut down Kaduna Airport, we killed 12 of them – Military

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The military authority has cleared the air on the reported attack on the Kaduna International Airport by bandits saying 12 bandits were killed.

The authority claimed the reported attack on the Airport happened six kilometres away from the terminal and outside the Airport perimeter fence.

It also said 12 of the bandits immediately given a hot chase were killed through airstrike, JomogNews reports.

Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Garrison Command 1 Division Nigerian Army, Brig-General Uriah Opuene and Air Force Base Commander, Air Commodore Ademuyiwa Adedoyin led journalists on an assessment tour of the scene of the attack.

Brig-General Opuene, while briefing newsmen, explained that the Kaduna International Airport is very secured, assuring that there are several layers of security at the Airport and that bandits could not have dared to attack it.

He stated that preliminary investigations revealed that the bandits were just passing through the back of the Airport towards Riyawa village, stressing that they sighted the security man engaged by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to watch over their metrological equipment around the axis.

According to him, “As you can see, this place is about six kilometers away from the Airport terminal. The bandits were only passing behind the airport perimeter fence when they saw the security man engaged by NAMA and they fired at him. They just took advantage of that to pass a message.”

He explained that even the first layer was not breached.

“So, as you can see from the distance, the insinuation outside that the terrorists took over the Airport is not correct. If the terrorists had entered, they would have met us there,” he said.

Also speaking, Air Commodore Adedoyin, the NAF Base Commander also explained that security around the Airport general area had been beefed up since the security of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was breached last year, adding that bandits don’t have the audacity to attack the Kaduna Airport.

He assured that the Airport is safe and secured, adding that the State Government was engaging citizens in communities around the Airport to scale up intelligence gathering.

He assured that there was no threat to the immediate vicinity of the Airport because the military were ahead of the bandits.

 

 

 

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Buhari Directs Concessioning Of Airports, Orders Fast Track Of Abuja Second Runway Construction

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika to fast-track the concessioning of the four major airports in Nigeria.

Buhari gave the order on Tuesday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, during the launch of the new terminal.

The facility was constructed by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC).

The President also directed Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed to raise funds for the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja.

He said concessioning of Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja terminals would further boost development to the sector and grow the economy.

NAN quoted him saying the new Lagos terminal would create unemployment for the youths.

He said 3,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be generated in addition to an enhanced Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the country.

The President said the aviation road map developed in 2016 has been constituency with infrastructural development.

“This event showcases our strong commitment to the growth of the Nigerian economy despite the challenges of finance.

”The commitment of this administration includes: agriculture, aviation and infrastructure development, among others.

”We have designated Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airports as free trade zones, while we have also removed Valued Added Tax (VAT) from air transport”, he added.

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BREAKING: Aircraft With 133 Passengers Crashes In China; Casualties Unknown

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A Chinese aircraft carrying 133 passengers has reportedly crashed in the southern province of Guangxi, China.

According to AP, CCTV, Chinese broadcaster, said the accident involving the China Eastern 737 happened near the city of Wuzhou in Teng county.

The number of casualties is yet to be ascertained.

More to follow…

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