We’re not afraid of national carrier but… – Domestic airlines

Indigenous carriers said yesterday they are anxiously looking forward to the takeoff of the national carrier which was unveiled on Wednesday in London by the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

The chairman of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, said his airline was not afraid of the national carrier but that it must not be used to frustrate existing carriers.

He spoke in Lagos yesterday during the 22nd seminar organized by the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents with the theme, ‘Financing Aviation Development Through Private Sector Partnership’.

Onyema, who led discussions at the seminar attended by key industry players and stakeholders, also challenged operators to be open and speak the truth at all times in order to move the industry forward.

He said a level playing ground must be provided for all operators and the existing carriers should enjoy same privilege like the national carrier.

Chairman of African Business Aircraft Association (AFBAA), Nick Fadugba, lamented that Nigeria was not taking advantage of its huge market, adding that foreign carriers were the beneficiaries.

He noted that there are uncertainties over the new national carrier because of the modality adopted in the project.

In his presentation, a former Director General of NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, speaking on ‘MRO Financing Options For Nigeria’, said operators must pool resources to set up a maintenance facility.

African market for MRO, he noted, is over $2 billion, which is a huge market that should be explored by African carriers and governments desirous to grow the aviation industry.

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