• Thursday, November 30, 2023
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Bi-Courtney laments delay in regional flights despite $600 million investment

Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Ltd (BASL) has stated that over N600 million has been expended in Murtala Muhammed Airport terminal two (MMA2) in preparation for regional flight operations. Yet, the functions have failed to kick off.

The company insisted it has the facilities required for regional flight operations from MMA2.

Blessing Ewah, head of operations, BASL, who disclosed this while taking journalists on a tour of facilities at the terminal on Wednesday, said all the agencies, including the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), had assessed and approved the facilities after all requirements were met, wondering why operations were yet to commence.

“We are ready; the terminal is ready, and gates 5 and 6 here have been dedicated for regional flights. We have invested over N600 million in the facilities for this operation and have not recouped one naira; it all started in 2014, “he said.

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Recall that the Ministerial Committee on Airport Security, in 2016, certified the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two as fit for the commencement of regional operations.

In April 2023, Wale Babalakin, Chairman of BASL, after inaugurating ‘The Art Experience’ (Art Gallery) in MMA2, stated that despite the terminal being approved by FG, there were still delays in starting regional operations from the MMA2.

“I am alarmed that we have not commenced regional operations because we went through the process. We were certified but have not been allowed to take off.

“I am shocked because the MMA2 terminal was built to provide services for regional and domestic passengers, but it is underutilized.

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“We had already spent several millions of naira to acquire the state-of-the-art facilities in preparation for regional flight operations, but the inconsistency in government policy, despite the approval, had prevented it from using the facilities.” he had said.

The operators added the MMA2 terminal remains the best in Nigeria, citing that the best architects were engaged to design the terminal that last.

Ewah, on Wednesday, insisted that everything requested for and required according to standards for regional operations is in place, adding, ‘the infrastructure is still in place, we are positive, it will be a beautiful thing for us to start regional operations this year’.

Tosan Duncan Odukoya, the acting chief operating officer of MMA2, who spoke shortly before the tour, said Bi-Courtney’s commitment to continuous improvement is evident in its maintenance and equipment facilities. At the same time, its customer service remains the cornerstone of the passenger experience.

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“The introduction of the Premium Departure Concierge service
is set to redefine travel, catering to the evolving needs of modern passengers. Yet, our VIP and Private Membership Lounges remain steadfast, offering a personalized haven for those seeking comfort and exclusivity.

“MMA2 isn’t just an airport; it’s a dynamic ecosystem. With over 190 rental spaces
housing local and international eateries, banks, travel services, and an array of shops, we’re not just facilitating travel but creating a miniature version of modern life. From literature to luxury, telecommunications to fashion, we cater to diverse tastes and
preferences,” Odukoya stated.