Why Nigerian Airlines Have Been Unable To Compete With Foreign Operators - Keyamo  

Why Nigerian Airlines Have Been Unable To Compete With Foreign Operators – Keyamo  

2 months ago
2 mins read

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has explained why Nigerian airlines have in the past been unable to compete favorably with their international counterparts in the aviation industry.

According to Keyamo, the biggest airlines in the world have access to dry leases that afford them access to as many aircraft as possible to be able to operate different international and local routes.

This, he said, Nigerian airlines don’t have access to at the moment.

“I discovered that the reason we cannot compete with international airlines is because we don’t have access to aircraft on the same terms as the big airlines around the world have,” Keyamo, who appeared on Arise News Television Morning Show on Monday said.

The Minister said that most big airlines around the world don’t run 100 per cent of their fleet based on actual purchase of aircraft.

He cited recent studies that revealed that about 70 per cent of the fleet across all airline companies around the world are on dry leases. “For those who have access to bank facilities, they have access to loans in single digits. Our banks are doing 26 per cent and do not have the capacity to finance getting such wide-body aircraft for flying international routes,” the Minister further stated.

Keyamo said that he had after assuming office, called a meeting of stakeholders involving airline operators and told them that to survive and compete in the industry, they need access to such aircraft, and promised to help them by creating an enabling environment for that.

READ ALSO: Airfare Hike: Boost Indigenous Airlines’ Capacity To Compete In Int’l Route, Aviation Expert Tells Nigerian Govt

He further disclosed that in his search for what guides aircraft leases, he discovered there is a Cape Town Convention that regulates aircraft leasing across the world and Nigeria is a signatory to that convention, but has not complied with it and was blacklisted.

Why Nigerian Airlines Have Been Unable To Compete With Foreign Operators - Keyamo
Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development

He said: “Due to blatant disregard by some domestic airlines for the Cape Town Convention on dry leases, Nigeria was blacklisted by the Aviation Working Group.”

The minister said leaders of the Aviation Working Group informed him that certain acts by “unscrupulous” local operators such as getting court injunctions to detain aircraft on dry leases, have stopped them from bringing aircraft to Nigeria.

The minister assured that he has taken positive steps to address that and promote ease of doing business in the aviation sector which President Tinubu has been preaching as one of the mantras of his administration.

The minister said his visit to Tolus in France recently where he engaged with manufacturers of Airbus that leases aircraft to airlines, was to help the domestic airlines get access to dry leases and have aircraft to operate as many routes as possible going forward.

The minister also stated that part of the discussions during his trip to France was for the aircraft manufacturing company to establish an MRO in Nigeria so that Nigerian airlines wouldn’t be spending millions of dollars every year to maintain their aircraft abroad which puts pressure on the naira.

Speaking on the Nigerian Air, Keyamo said it is still on suspension by the presidency.  He said there is an ongoing probe by the EFCC on the project and that the president would make a declaration on it once it is included by the antigraft agency.


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