Chinazor Megbolu |
The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Mallam Nuhu Musa, has said he foresaw the indigenous airline operators merging as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic menace.
He said this while examining the effects of the pandemic outbreak on the sector during a Nigerian Television Authority programme.
Musa noted that local airlines in the aviation industry might be compelled by the Covid-19 pandemic menace to embrace merger with each other.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exaggerated a bad situation; some airlines may not survive but the industry will come back better. It has always gone through crisis but has come out stronger.
“The Airlines Operators of Nigeria are coming together to see what they can do to help the situation and they met with me. The industry will be different altogether”.
“I am sure a lot of them will see changes in their model. I won’t be surprised there would be merger activities around airlines to reduce cost and survive.
“The International Air Transport Association forecasted in a commentary in May that the Nigerian aviation sector was at risk of losing $900 million in revenue and 124,000 jobs in this year alone.
“The airlines carry their maintenance out of the country and it is done in foreign exchange. They need to raise enough money to service the aircraft.
Cost of air travel in Africa’s biggest economy has been on a steep rise in recent weeks by reason of worsening rate of exchanging dollar for naira which recently hit its 3-year high at the parallel market.
“The airlines have to find a source of raising more naira. Passenger load has decreased during the pandemic. That is why there have been significant increase in airfares, they are trying their best and by the time the bailout kicks in, things will be better,” he said
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