Due to limits on their ability to conduct 24 hour flights every day to the airports of their choice, Nigerian airline operators are losing N4 million every flight, N360 million in 90 flights, and nearly N4.3 billion annually.
According to NAN, Ibom Air’s COO, Mr. George Uriesi, said this during the 26th Annual Conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) on Thursday in Lagos.
Speaking about the conference’s theme, “Sunset Airports: Economic and Safety Implications”, the Ibom Air executive, said the restriction had led to a huge underutilisation of aircraft fleets by Nigerian airlines.
What Ibom Air is saying
These airports, sometimes known as Sunset airports, lack the necessary infrastructure to support flights that continue into the night.
Because of this, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has restricted operations at the few airports with the infrastructure to only during the daytime, which means that flights cannot use such airports after 6:30 p.m.
Nigeria’s carriers, according to Uriesi, were “losing an average of N4 million per flight, N360 million in 90 flights and about N4.3 billion annually to sunset airport operations.”
According to Uriesi, this restriction had caused Nigerian airlines to significantly underutilize their aircraft fleets in comparison to international industry standards.
He claimed that a portion of this was caused by the operational environment’s excessive number of obstacles, which lowers aviation productivity.
“These include limited runway availability across the domestic network, multiple operational infrastructure deficiencies, poor organisation and many others,” he added.
Uriesi urged the government to give airfield infrastructure top priority, supply every airport with an Instrument Landing System (ILS) and related accessories, and keep aerodromes open to accommodate commercial aircraft and other customers.
He also suggested that the government make current, approved master plans a regulatory requirement for every airport and make it unlawful for any entity to disregard the master plan.
“Establishing a local aircraft lessor /financing vehicle that would allow for the domiciling of aircraft payments in local currency would make a huge difference to the air transport sector in Nigeria,” he added.
• Nairametrics reported this week that the Federal Government stated that there are no immediate solutions to the crisis currently rocking Nigeria’s aviation sector, as it claims the issues are global.
• This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, at a meeting with officials of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON).
• Sirika said, “Energy crises is real and it is global. Today there is aviation fuel problem all over the world. From America to New Zealand. It is aggravating in Nigeria because we don’t produce the product.
• “It is aggravated also because the foreign exchange is scarce in Nigeria and the source of earning the foreign exchange has also has dwindled.’’
• The minister while pointing out some of the intervention measures the federal government as it had in the past sourced 10,000 metrics tonnes of aviation fuel for domestic airlines, adding that the government was willing to do more.