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FG Not Doing Enough To Protect Domestic Airlines –Capt Olubadewo

Captain David Olubadewo, the Managing Director, Airline Management Support, which supplies tyres and turbine oil for aircraft use. At the LAAC conference, he said that the Federal Government creates unnecessary competition on the routes Nigerian airlines ought to develop and urged for more government support for the operators.

Challenges confronting local airlines

There is no level playing field, scarcity of forex, etc. Our government sells Nigerian owned airlines cheap to other countries that own airlines. Government creates unnecessary competition on the routes Nigerian airlines ought to develop in the name of demand and supply. They do not value the domestic airlines, meanwhile we’re about the best in the world.

33My advice is that the government should try to build and protect the airlines. Somebody needs to put rules and regulations on ground to protect the airlines, which is how it is done globally. Also, they should set up a leasing company to lease aircraft to airlines in Nigeria because we need to grow and build our airlines. This would even be a win-win situation because it boosts both the airlines and the economy as the government gradually recoups the money it spent on the acquisition of the aircraft.

China did the same thing to become the biggest aviation market. Also, the Dubai government supported Emirates to grow. So, the Nigerian government should support the local airlines to build them up. For instance, what is the point of foreign airlines coming here and flying to all our major local routes? 

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Most Nigerian airlines use right aircraft

Yes, based on feasibility study, just that our airlines cannot really afford brand new aircraft and assessing spares are issues of planning. There are certain parts that are referred to as urgent or Aircraft on Ground (AOG), those spares will come through Customs. However, it needs following up to let them out quickly rather than creating unnecessary problems.

But, apart from that, I think the customs are not too bad in Nigeria. We go to other West African countries, we see what they do. In the UK, you have something called route one. If anything goes through route one, you have to wait, until it is out. But Nigerian Customs, they are not too bad.

We supply parts to at least about 90 per cent of all the airlines in Nigeria. We have enough for the sector and all types of aircraft. Where we don’t have, we have the support of the manufacturer to actually back us up. But remember, this is all based on planning.

Delay in accessing spare parts could cause flight delays not only in Nigeria, everywhere in the world. It depends on what type of parts we are talking about.

If you are going to transport engines from London to Lagos, it takes time. But these are things which need planning. So, it just depends on one, if it is just an ordinary instrument, of course within 10 hours. It is only six and half hours from the UK and maybe a maximum of seven hours from anywhere in Europe and you have maybe 15 or more airlines visiting Nigeria every day.

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In terms of risks, no matter what you do, there is a risk factor. I supply aircraft tyre to airlines and if I put a tyre on an aircraft and it goes burst, that is a risk factor. So, we have to make sure that the parts or the tyres that are supplied pass through an extra level of quality check to make sure that when it goes on the aircraft, it will do what it is meant to do.

We are stockists and we have two warehouses where we store aircraft parts and tyres for all the airlines.  For example, we go into an airline’s store and we will see a small store with small tyres. But don’t forget, they ordered those tyres from us, so we are keeping it for them.

Source: Sun

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