Nigeria Air ‘Government should Keep their hands off the running of the airline for success’ – Ayo Akinfe

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Ayo Akinfe, UK based Nigerian author and writer voiced his opinion regarding the new Nigeria Air, airline. As a well-read and politically knowledgeable individual, he believes the new airline will do so much better as a privately owned company. He took to his Facebook page to express his opinion.

He said.

‘Oya Naijas, put your money where your mouths are. Raise this $300m privately. If we do so and no government cash is involved, we can tell them to hands off the running of the airline!

Time for a stakeholder society ladies and gentlemen. Now is the time for the 180m of you to stand up and be counted!

He went further to write out 10 reasons how the new airline can succeed and how

10 REASONS WHY

[1] So eventually, we have a new national carrier called Nigeria Air. It will be Nigeria’s national airline to replace Nigeria Airways which collapsed in 2003. Due to launch in December, it will have a fleet of 30 aircraft and fly to 80, local, regional and international destinations

[2] Unlike Nigeria Airways, it will not be wholly government owned as private operators like Boeing, Airbus as well as airlines like BA, Qatar Air and Ethiopian Airlines,

are likely to have s stake in it

[3] At the moment, there is no cap on overseas ownership of the planned airline and it is believed the government would be prepared to offer more than 50% of the company to a strategically

[4] At the Farnborough Air Show yesterday, Tilmann Gabriel, a consultant who is helping to coordinate the project, said half of the routes will international and should be fully functional within four years

[5] Aviation minister Hadi Sirika, said Nigeria Air will start off with a fleet of 15 leased aircraft supplied by Airbus and Boeing. He added that these will include short-haul planes for local and domestic flights plus wide-bodied aircraft for flights to long-haul l

ocations such as London and New York. Inter-continental services should begin in the middle of next year

[6] Now, first of all, given that the likes of BA, KLM, Lufthansa, Virgin, Air France, Emirates, exploit that Lagos-London route ruthlessly by charging about 10 times what it should, we need a cap on their fees. I think the price of the flight should be pegged at £500 for the next 10 years

[7] I also think we should have a cast iron deal on the replacement and maintenance of aircraft. Nigeria Air should be compelled to change its aeroplanes every 10 years

[8] I like the fact that it will not be a wholly-owned government venture. With a commercial ethos, the airline should be run profitably. For instance, it should pay its bills and not allow its aircraft to be seized

[9] More importantly, it is now up to you Nigerians to make this work. Take it of leave it but it was Nigerians who ruined the likes of Arik Air. For starters, not enough of you used it. secondly, too many of you used your “long legs” to get free tickets from ministers, directors and aviation officials. How on earth was the airline to make profit when maybe about a third of all its tickets were given away for free?

[10] Lastly, I want to see the National Assembly pass laws compelling government officials to use the airline. All state departments must book flights on Nigeria Air.

With these checks in place, I think this airline can succeed. With a population of 180m, of which about 15m are international air travellers, we have a captive market, which can only grow.

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