Due to the Covid-19 pandemic since last year, cargo flights are yet to resume full scale operations even after the lockdown in many countries have been eased.
Because of poor passenger movement, many airlines are still continuing with their experiment of using their passenger aircraft for cargo operations which is paying off for them.
The President, Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN) Mr Kingsley Nwokoma in an interview with journalists in his office at the Murtala Mohammad international Airport Cargo shed, said cargo airlines no longer come into Nigeria with bigger aircraft due to low import and export activities because of the impact of the pandemic on the sector.
He stated that, the pandemic had significantly reduced tonnage forcing airlines to use smaller aircraft, adding that most of the mega cargo carriers with under belly aircraft of 45 tonnes of cargo, no longer come into the country with their cargo aircraft.
“We still have cargo coming in from China, Asia US and Europe but you can never compare the volume like the normal times. We still have European airlines that refused to come into Nigeria because they are not sure of our preparedness and our figures”.
According to him, there were still slow cargo activities but expressed the hope that with the vaccines coming out, things will definitely improve.
He expressed optimism that with the the coming out of vaccines, things may beginning to see some improvement in the business in the near future.
Nwokoma however remarked that it may take the industry another 10 to 15 years to see stability due to the Covid impact on aviation, adding that some carriers were already returning their fleets as their projection did not meet their targets.
“If you ordered for aircraft and you know it’s not going to be useful to you, you can only stop that order. Aviation is the worse hit by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The AFARN President stated that there had been a remarkable improvement of about 35 percent increase in business as against 10 percent when compared with 2020.
“There is significant improvement in cargo coming compare to Covid era at least 35 percent increase”.