By Yunus Yusuf
The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) says the aviation industry requires accelerated recovery plans, for it to overcome its current challenges caused by the rising cases of COVID-19 pandemic.
Capt. Alkali Modibbo Rector of the college, made this known at the 25th Annual Conference and Award Ceremony, organised by the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) in Lagos on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference was Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy and Regulation.
Modibbo noted that the sector at present, required direct injection of continued financial support, provision of credits, offer of deferrals and discounts on charges, and most especially, concessions.
He lamented that globally, the airline sub-sector was facing a “throat-cutting” competition, especially from low-cost airlines, amidst dwindling passengers due to the pandemic.
“In Nigeria, the airline sub-sector has continued to face unpredictable operational costs as well as losses, due to the devaluation of Naira against the international currencies and irregular availability of aviation fuel.
“It is regrettable that these, among others, added up to the operational cost.
” Hence, operational services deteriorated when normal flight services were resumed, followed by frequent scheduled flight challenges and exorbitant ticket prices”, he said.
According to him, “This could be a symptom of the larger financial strain that airlines currently face.
” Fortunately, here in Nigeria, the airlines are tremendously picking up tempo with an encouraging passenger turn out.
“Governments and donor institutions should provide the funds to ensure the survival and the business continuity of key stakeholders of the aviation industry as recommended by the African Aviation Industry Group (AAIG) in 2020.”
Madibbo, however, lauded the Federal Government for investing in infrastructure across the various airports, despite the plans to privatise or concession the aerodromes.
The Rector also urged the operators to emulate their counterparts across the globe by adopting merger and aircraft leasing.
He said this would further help them to address the challenges of competitiveness and financial capacities, standardisation of sanitation and safety issues, as well as norms to increase customers confidence.
Modibbo noted that the college needed to upgrade its curriculum, in tune with the current situation of heightened operations, security, sanitation and the digital transformation of the industry.
He explained that the institution needed to look deeply into the changes, which the aviation value chain was undergoing
He said this was to enable them design the training requirements that would critically produce the workforce, a post-pandemic arrangements that aviation industry would require. (NAN)