Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has responded to the National Assembly’s comments over the increasing trend of flight delays and cancellations in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by AON’s president, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa, on Thursday in Lagos, while reacting to the comments made by the Chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Aviation, Sen. Smart Adeyemi and Hon. Nnolim Nnaji, where they stated that should the local carriers fail to curb flight delays and cancellations, foreign airlines would be invited to operate domestic flights.
In his reaction, Yunusa stated that the comments made by the legislators only served to aggravate sentiments and sent out the wrong message to the general public.
What the Airlines Operators are saying about flight delays
The AON president said that it is not in the interest of any airline, whether in Nigeria or anywhere else, to delay or cancel flights as this has severe financial and image consequences.
“For these reasons, delays and cancellations are, therefore, the last thing any airline wants.
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“While flight delays and cancellations occur all over the world, it is instructive to note that in Nigeria, 80% of delays and cancellations are due to factors outside the control of airlines or caused by them.
“This is why AON invites the public to be aware that airlines in Nigeria operate in an environment wrought with infrastructure deficiencies that are highly disruptive to normal schedule reliability and on-time performance.
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He stated that airlines in Nigeria operate in an environment wrought with infrastructure deficiencies, insisting that any airline in the world operating under domestic circumstances in Nigeria will be bogged down by delays they have no control over.
The causes of delays according to the AON chief, include weather and inadequate parking space due to congested aprons, restrictions caused by sunset airports, delays due to VIP movements and frequent bird strikes.
He added that the unavailability and the ever-rising cost of aviation fuel, contributed to the delays, also the unavailability of FOREX for spare parts and maintenance, delays by Customs department in clearing of safety-critical spare parts.
Poor air traffic flow, inadequate Check-in Counters, inadequate screening and exit points at departure and low passenger and baggage screening capacity. Inadequate and unreliable ground services equipment for boarding and disembarkation of passengers, unruly behaviour of passengers and failure to obey rules for flight delays and cancellations were also mentioned as factors causing delays.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported last week that the Joint National Assembly Committee on Aviation warned that if local airlines are no longer able to manage their fleet and stop flight delays, it will invite foreign airlines to run the domestic services.