Airline Operators in Nigeria have agreed that the airline sub-sector needs urgent rescue efforts to stop it from collapse.
They blame the stunted growth on unfavourable operating environment.
Lilian Eze-Mark reports that 17 foreign airlines airlift 55,000 passengers out of Nigeria weekly.
The country has yet to reciprocate most of the agreements giving room to foreign airlines to carry about 90% of the passenger traffic.
The local operators blame federal government granting multiple designations to foreign carriers as part of its Bilateral Air Services Agreements with other countries. The Nigerian airlines are also challenged by high operating cost, scarcity of jet A1 and multiple taxation.
The operators seek review of the bilateral air services agreements on the basis of reciprocity. They also want adequate infrastructure,economic regulatory oversight, locally cited maintenance, repair and overhaul facility and the need to increase to profitability.
For the local operators on the international route, the government should play the required aero politics to keep them in business.
Statistics show that in 2015, aviation supported 254,500 jobs and contributed 940 million dollars about 184.7 billion naira to Nigeria’s gross domestic product.
Experts are of the opinion that the sector can contribute more if it has efficient and profitable air transportation system adopted as a tool for socioeconomic development that promotes trade and tourism on the African continent and globally.