Why airlines need to review business plans to remain sustainable

As more join existing airlines to operate into various destinations in Nigeria, concerns have been raised on the survival strategies these airlines will need to adopt to stay sustainable.

Investigations 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, Barnax Air, Bellview Airlines, Capital Airlines, Central Airlines, Chanchangi Airlines, Earth Airlines, EAS Airlines, Easy Link Aviation, First Nation Airways, Freedom Air Services, GAS Air Nigeria, Hamzair, Harco Air Services, 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 amongst others.

Aviation industry experts say airlines will prosper in Nigeria, if they review their business model especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the recent Aviation Cargo and Export conference in Lagos organised by Ikechi Uko, publisher,; Richard Aisuebogun the former Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN), said when airlines are doing well, it increases the fortunes of the airports.

In a paper presentation entitled: The viability of Airports in Nigeria and why airlines fail, Aisuebogun said over the years, many airlines have closed shop due to management issues, policy somersault, unstable forex and high operational cost like the oscillating price of aviation fuel, aircraft maintenance, among others.

Read also: Green Africa may not be Nigeria’s cheapest airline

He also emphasized that poor airport infrastructure not only hampers the revenue of the airports but also the airlines.

“We have to increase our investment in Airport infrastructure to make our airports meet global standards, we have to implement the aviation road safety map that has been formed by several Minister’s that have come and gone, let’s go beyond talk shops, let’s begin to implement,” he said.

Daniel Young, an Aviation consultant said, airlines should look at other opportunities outside their immediate operating environment like flying into the west coast.

“Rather than concentrating all their fleet on domestic flights, they should take advantage of BASA we have signed and then start operating regional flights because that is where I think the money is,” Young said.

Also speaking at the event, Fubara Anga, a senior advocate of Nigeria and an aviation consultant, stated that, the airlines would thrive if the government rethink reducing the taxes as palliative to the operators and make aviation central to national development goals, plans and aspirations.

“The solution is for aviation in Nigeria not to be treated as just a single enterprise, it should be coordinated with so many other things. Nigeria airlines and allied services have to be supported through the instrumentality of state but certainly not by giving them hand-out and not by giving them loans”.

Organizer of the conference, Ikechi Uko explained that, the purpose of the conference was not only to identify challenges airlines and airports were grappling with but to proffer workable solutions by critical stakeholders to assist government come up with policies that would help to build a safe, profitable and secured industry.

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