FG to Counter Challenges Hindering Nigerian Airlines During International Operations – Keyamo

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has underlined the government’s commitment to supporting Nigerian airlines in securing long-term aircraft leases at competitive rates, in line with global industry standards.

The Minister emphasized that the government is dedicated to assisting domestic airlines in their international endeavors and will respond to any challenges that hinder their operations on any route.

The Minister revealed this information in an interview he participated in at the inaugural event for the Air Peace Lagos-London flight over the weekend.

He mentioned that enabling Nigerian airlines to easily access long-term leasing and reducing the cost of aircraft insurance were critical performance measures for his Ministry. These KPIs aim to assist domestic airlines and prevent the exploitation of Nigerian travelers by foreign carriers.

“This is very significant, because it is has been very difficult for our local operators to service international routes and to take advantage of our Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs), which give reciprocal rights to our local airlines,” he said.

He detailed that the formation of BASAs is grounded on the concept of mutual benefit, where airlines from one country are permitted to operate flights to another country, while reciprocally allowing airlines from the latter country to do the same, emphasizing that the flight arrangements are mutually agreed upon within the BASA.

“What BASAs normally say is that when you have 14 slots into my country, they also give you 14 slots into their country. But there is politics of BASAs also because after giving you the 14 slots into their country, in most cases they play politics with it in such a way that they frustrate your own airlines from being able to take advantage of that.

“But beyond that too, our local operators are handicapped because they don’t have access to aircraft that international airlines have on the same terms. For example, the terms upon which they lease these aircraft. There is no airline in the world that buy their fleet 100 percent. It is not possible.

“Statistics says that out of a 100 aircraft flying around the world, about 70 percent of those aircraft are on dry lease from leasing companies and from aircraft manufacturers. So, why can’t we take advantage of these lease arrangements to empower our local operators. And that is the key to also servicing these international routes because you cannot compete with someone who has access to aircraft on better terms than you,”

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