- HUGE operational costs, emasculating charges imposed by different agencies and the resultant heavy debt burden are sounding the death knell for most domestic airlines in Nigeria, an investigation by The Guardian has revealed.
- However, Some airlines are said to owe their workers in all categories, arrears of monthly salaries and allowances, a situation so fraught with danger that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the regulator, may intervene to forestall the negative impact it could have on flight operations.
- The first time NCAA conducted this exercise based on complaints early in the year, according to the authority’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Fan Ndubuoke, Discovery Airlines was grounded and its operating licence (AOC) seized.
“NCAA has since restored the airline’s AOC after it complied with the regulatory requirements and paid up what it owed its workers.”
- When contacted, a source from the airline told The Guardian that the management has since then maintained regular payment of salaries and other allowances to its workers in order to avoid being grounded.
- But feelers from the industry suggest that some airlines are still not meeting their obligations to their workers due to the financial crisis bedeviling the sector. Following this development, NCAA says it has commenced a financial audit of all domestic airlines, adding that “when completed a report will be submitted to the management for appropriate action.”
- On the airlines’ indebtedness to the NCAA, Ndubuoke said:
“We have introduced a new policy of ‘no pay no service’ to operators. By this, an operator is required to obtain a clearance from Director of Finance and Accounts indicating that such an operator has settled all claims due to the authority before services are rendered. So far, so good.”
- In a similar vein, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), managers of the nation’s airports, has constituted a special task force on revenue enhancement.
- Source: The Guardian