The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, has announced that the total air ticket sale in the country in 2011 amounted to N225 billion. He said that about 90 percent of the revenue was earned from the Lagos and Abuja airports.
Demuren who stated this in Lagos at the 18th edition of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents disclosed that the two airports handled 122,700 tons of cargo during the period.
He further revealed that passenger traffic during the period was 14.6 million across all the airports. He also disclosed that the country’s aviation industry had an estimated 60,000 employees in 2011.
These, according to him includes, 865 aircraft maintenance engineers, 934 pilots, 325 air traffic controllers, 1836 cabin crew and 250 meteorologists and forecasters. In addition, he stated that 300 scheduled flights are operated daily with 50 daily chartered flights and 610 helicopter sorties.
However, with all the growth indicators in the aviation industry, Demuren regretted that the airlines were still groaning under the harsh economic climate. “It is quite expedient for government to establish apparatus that can provide improved funding for local airlines. Our financial institutions should be encouraged to provide financial instruments that would ensure our airlines have access to low interest rate loans,” he said. He submitted that a regime of waivers for aircraft parts imported should be reinstated “to afford our local airlines the much needed revenue to improve their operations, funds accruable could be used for aircraft purchase and training of staff,” he added.
More so, he said the airport tariffs and charges should be reviewed to provide the needed succour to the local operators. On the part of the airlines, the director general encouraged them to join global organisations so that they can be competitive and profitable global players. “The modern reality is that our airlines need to begin to jump into the world fray by joining International Air Transport Association (IATA) to become global players. With this they can access or corner a share of the huge market,” he stated.
He said NCAA had directed the airlines to provide a five-year year business plan for scrutiny.”The move is not to sanction anyone but to offer advice that can stimulate the growth of their operations,” he remarked.
Filed Under: Business News