The Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Abdullahi Mahmood, has said that the airlines’ mortality rate in Nigeria’s aviation industry will rise due to the current struggle with the cost of operation.
Mahmood said the government’s failure to intervene could spell doom for the aviation industry because the increase in ticket price won’t be enough to save airline operators from shutting down.
The airline operators have called off their planned suspension of operation, which was meant to begin on Monday, May 9.
The airline operators under the umbrella body of Airline Operators Nigeria of (AON), had complained of the rising aviation fuel, which skyrocketed from N190 per liter to N700.
Following the decision to halt the suspension, Mahmood, during an interview with Arise TV on Monday, stated that if the airlines increase ticket prices, and the air passengers don’t buy, it further worsens the situation.
There are about 23 domestic airline companies in Nigeria, according to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and Mahmood believes the current situation will lead to them shutting down the business completely one after the other if the rising cost is not curbed.
Highlighting how the airlines have been coping with the current cost of operation, Mahmood said the operators entered into a spring alliance to prevent flight cancellations.
The spring alliance enables airlines to partner on the flight schedule, which means if an airline’s passenger seats to Abuja is 50% filled, and another airline heading to that location has just 50% filled, both airlines can decide to merge passengers on one flight, to avoid cancellations.
He explained that planes not meeting passenger capacity doesn’t fund the cost of transiting the passengers, hence, the spring alliance, which the operators have been applying for a while.