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Nigeria needs airline managers to curb early death of airlines, says Akinfenwa

MANAGING Director of Merchant Express Cargo Airlines, Capt. Shina Akinfenwa has blamed the non-existence of specialized airline managers for the early death of most airlines in Nigeria as aviation is a technical sector and running of airlines requires specialized training which being just a pilot or aeronautical engineer does not confer that competence on the person.

Speaking with some select aviation journalists in Lagos, Akinfenwa decried a situation were over the years the domestic airlines owners think they can run them like family business, instead of bringing experts to manage them while they remain at the background.

According to him “People with little or no knowledge of the industry just pump their money into the business and just start flying. Aviation is a specialised area. If you don’t have your eyes on the ball, you will never be successful.

Aviation is a specialised area and we have been making same mistakes all the time. The fact that you are a good pilot, successful captain or a perfect engineer, doesn’t mean you can make a successful airline administrator. This is a degree course in the university abroad.

We don’t have such people in Nigeria. There is no Nigerian that is capable of managing an airline successfully for now as the requisite training is lacking.”

Akinfenwa further argued that no airline in the country can be successful, considering the way they were set up by their sponsors, stressing that most promoters of airlines set them up for ego sake. He maintained that airline industry is capital intensive and requires in-depth knowledge of the industry for such a carrier to be successful.

On designation of multiple entry points to foreign carriers, Merchant Express Cargo Airlines’ boss said the Federal Government through its policy should compel the foreign carriers to land in one point in Nigeria and interline with local operators for the distribution of their passengers to their destinations.

He said: “Government policies over the years have not been helpful to the industry, passengers operations have not equally been helpful to Nigeria especially domestic operation. This is a general concern to the Nigerian people. The international carriers have been encouraged and assisted to have multiple destinations in Nigeria.

“You will expect foreign airlines to land in one major airport in the country and interline with the local carriers to transport their passengers to their final destinations, but sadly, that is not so in Nigeria. The only passengers available to Nigeria are just within the country. We don’t have reciprocating airlines to fly into most international routes.”


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