• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Succession plan needed for airlines’ sustainability – Stakeholders

Succession plan needed for airlines’ sustainability – Stakeholders

Stakeholders in the aviation sector have urged airlines to incorporate succession plans into their developmental strategy in a bid to address airlines’ short life in Nigeria.

Akin Olateru, Director-General of Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) stated this at the just concluded 27th League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) Conference with the theme: ‘Aviation Industry: Changing Times, Changing Strategies’.

In his presentation titled ‘Funding Manpower Development in the 21st Century’, he expressed regret that numerous organizations in the country do not have succession plans, which ultimately leads to their rapid demise or failure.

This comes from the need to support the industry in getting ready for the future and actively preparing for different situations by training talented employees for upcoming opportunities.

Olateru emphasized that companies should not only focus on regulatory compliance but also establish a strong process facilitating smooth and efficient leadership or ownership transitions in the future.

According to him, this process would entail identifying employees deserving of career growth and providing them with the necessary training to assume new responsibilities within the company.

Olateru mentioned that NSIB is presently providing training for future investigators at various international institutions, including the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in Zaria.

“At NSIB, we are currently training future investigators. There are 16 of them who are graduates from various universities without aviation background, but we are training them on accident investigation. That is the succession plan.”

“Also, various organisations spend a lot of energy in training technical personnel, but we miss out on human resources and other support staff. In the last five years at NSIB, we have only had three staff that left. This is so because the management takes employees’ factors very seriously.”

On the issue of manpower development, Olateru clarified that companies should have a strategic alignment that matches the organization’s overall goals and succession plan.

In the last 80 years since the first flight operations in Nigeria, record has it that domestic airlines have active operations between five to 10 years and the rest years on wheel chairs, barely struggling to stay afloat.

BusinessDay’s checks show that in the last 25 years, over 30 airlines have closed shop in Nigeria.

Some of the defunct airlines include ADC Airlines, African International Airways, African Trans Air, Afrijet Airlines, Afrimex, Air Atlantic Cargo, Albarka Air, Al-Dawood Air, Arax Airlines, Barnax Air, Bellview Airlines, Capital Airlines, Central Airlines, Chanchangi Airlines, Chrome Air Service, Dasab Airlines, Earth Airlines, EAS Airlines, Easy Link Aviation, First Nation Airways, Freedom Air Services, GAS Air Nigeria, Hamzair, Harco Air Services, Intercontinental Airlines, Kabo Air, Meridian Airlines, Nicon Airways, Nigeria Airways, Okada Air, Pan African Airlines, Skypower Express Airways, Sosoliso Airlines, Trans-Air Services, Triax Airlines, UAS Cargo, Virgin Nigeria and Wings Aviation.

Read also: Airbus inaugurates new Toulouse A320 Family final assembly line

Also speaking at the LAAC Conference, Gabriel Olowo, President, Sabre West Africa, advised airlines to avoid pitfalls of the past attributing 60 percent of their failures on the international scene to the Ministry who have expressed no confidence in their flying premium routes by words or action but instead offer the airlines red routes which endangers their survival.

‘Red routes’ according to his views are routes that may make or break the airline because it is not considered the preferred destination for the populace and so is unpopular to the flying public with all its attendant challenges.

Olowo said during the panellist discussion that, “I would attribute a good percentage of airline’s failure to the government and it is not only in Nigeria, in Africa. Failure of the economy, failure of the industries, policies of government, your country’s risk in particular.

“In country risk, airlines face serious problems on their insurance because of country risk. The Ministry of Aviation has no confidence in its airlines because it will tell its performing airline, ‘you will disgrace the flag.’ The airline will also try to prove a point by continuing to operate the red routes.

“They give you red routes to operate and you operate those red routes to prove a point that you will not disgrace the flag, meanwhile you are already flying the flag. This is why I attribute 60 percent factor failure to the government.”