Home Airlines AFARN urges AON to consider codeshare, aircraft type to stay afloat

AFARN urges AON to consider codeshare, aircraft type to stay afloat

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The Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives of Nigeria, AFARN says Nigeria airline operators must be willing to codeshare and interline with foreign airlines to get a better share of the aviation market to break even.

Speaking with newsmen in Lagos, President of AFARN, Mr. Kingsley Nwokoma said foreign airlines should not be blamed if the Nigerian government is not giving them the backing needed and willing to play the Aeropolitics.

He emphasized that for them to compete favorably with their foreign counterparts, international standards must be adhere to in terms of aircraft, safety,entertainment, in- flight, codeshare, on time departure, network punctuality among others.

“If you are going to apply for codeshare there is a process, the Process has to also do with your maintenance record, has to do with a lot, so you have to be sure that your schedule, integrity because at the long run, if am code sharing with you if there is a problem it affects everybody, so we must be prepared, you know there is also lots of audits before you even going to codeshare”.

Nwokoma noted that apart from government giving the level playing ground, Nigeria operators must be prepared to align so that they will not be looked on as still a local carrier while flying on the international route.

“If you want to compete with the foreign airlines and the new National carrier, now competition is rift, the foreign airlines are also going to be competing with the National carrier and we all know that for national pride most people will prefer to fly their own airline, carrier just like what the Kenyans will do, fly KQ, most Ethiopians will fly ET, so am such we want to fly our own but if ours is not as standard or do not conform with the international world standard then there is a problem, that is when you start giving people choices. I want to be sure that I get New York and there is a problem maybe you put me in another aircraft that will bring me back here. So, its about starting an airline or fly internationally, my point is we must be aligned to world standard”.

The AFARN president explained that no country in the world can do without foreign airlines, adding that if there are issues with Bilateral Services Agreement,BASA’s, it has nothing to do with the foreign airlines.

“If the foreign airlines are coming two times a day or everyday, it’s because there is need for that nobody is stopping our flag carriers or National carrier to benefit from the same reciprocal effects, its a world standard thing”.

“Our carriers who want to venture into the world stage should try and get it right because the investment is already huge, getting it right should be part of it, its even a plus because if you get it right, if you come into Lagos, an AirPeace can buy a ticket from the US that takes you all the way to Owerri, port harcourt, Benin, Makurdi, its something we should leverage on, its doable”.

Nwokoma appealed to the AON to put its house in order, build integrity and be open to codeshare and to also consider aircraft type in its domestic operations.

According to him, the Boeing 737’s and the 747’s are too expensive to maintain, adding that fuelling of the aircraft too is expensive that is why most people are now using Airbuses like the A340’s and others that are very fuel efficient.

“737 are very expensive and for C-check, it’s quite high,thats why most people are removing the B737’s from their fleets, ATR’s are easy to manage but the differential in time doesn’t really matter”.

“In developed climes, we have low budget aircraft, very cheap, you hop from London to Dublin, you hop from Dublin to Frankfurt, most of them don’t even have catering on board, you buy your catering on board, they make sure the luggage you carry is not much, RyanAir is an example, so we need to start introducing some things to our climes”, he added.

He advised Nigeria investors to look at aircraft type if they want to make profit.

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