By Seun Ibiyemi
Aero Contractors have denied any fund diversion to the tune of $3million belonging to the airline and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) meant for the acquisition of a Bombardier aircraft for Aero Contractors Limited.
The airline which suspended its scheduled operations last week citing harsh operating environment reacted to the reports which was on a national daily stating that it was concocted to smear both the aero and AMCON.
Aero accused one Engineer Femi Adeniji of spewing untruths in a bid to malign both Aero Contractors and AMCON as he had tried to get AMCON to approve him managing the airline to no avail.
The statement read, “Contrary to the news published by Daily Independent Newspaper on Monday July 25, 2022, Aero Contractors, and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), is totally unaware of the diversion of any $3million belonging to both or either organisation meant for the acquisition of a Bombardier aircraft for Aero Contractors Limited, talk less of a refund by Bombardier, a reputable aircraft manufacturer still in existence.
“In the said Daily Independent publication, one Femi Adeniji who claimed to be an Engineer and CEO of NIGAME Aircraft Consultancy Incorporation in faraway Florida, United States of America made the spurious claim in an interview with the newspaper. The allegations he spewed in the interview is one of those desperate but futile efforts to malign Aero Contractors and AMCON that is saddled with the difficult national assignment of recovering debts from stubborn, and recalcitrant obligors.
“Reading deeper into the story, however, it is obvious that the so-called Engineer Femi Adeniji is out for vengeance having owned up in the same Daily Independent story that he and his partners had approached AMCON sometime in 2018 with a proposal to manage the airline but did not get the business. This approach of trying to get back at AMCON for not getting a business is rather unfortunate, and unprofessional to say the least.
“The public should therefore disregard this deceptive news item, the basis of which is totally unknown to us, which is entirely created from the imagination of Adeniji but mischievously scripted by Daily Independent reporter to give Aero Contractors and AMCON a bad name as well as mislead the reading public.”
WIA honours Dana Air as Airline wins CSR award
Dana Air has been honoured by the Women in Aviation for celebrating 15 years in Nigeria’s Aviation Industry at the Annual Conference of Women in Aviation Nigeria Chapter held recently in Kano.
According to the President of Women in Aviation Nigeria, Rejoice Ndudinachi, “this year’s conference is themed: Connect, Engage, Inspire, and the highlight is presentation of awards to persons and organisations who have distinguished themselves in the society.”
Similarly, Dana Air has bagged the Corporate Social Responsibility airline of the year Award 2023 at the City Business News Summit 2023, held recently in Lagos at Oriental Hotels.
Speaking on the double honours, Dana Air’s Chief Operating Officer, Ememobong Ettete, said, “Dana Air is committed to the theme of this year’s WIA conference as always and this is a well-deserved recognition for us and it just goes to show that people see and appreciate the little things we do to support not just our dear country but communities, youths, the women in aviation, our industry and even the entertainment industry.”
“As a responsible corporate citizen, we remain committed to supporting worthy causes across the country and contributing to her growth and development as we have no other option than to build our country and see it achieve its full potential,” he added.
Having flown over 36 million passengers in the last 15 years of its operation, Dana Air is one of Nigeria’s leading airlines with a mixed fleet of Boeing aircraft and daily flights to major cities in Nigeria.
NAHCON urges FAAN to provide facilities at departure centres
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has urged the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to provide navigation equipment and facilities at Hajj departure centres across the country.
Deputy Director, Information and Publication, NAHCON, Malam Mousa Ubandawaki, in a statement, said the acting Chairman of the commission, Jalal Arabi, made the call when he hosted members of FAAN’s Hajj Committee.
Arabi noted that the provision of necessary navigational equipment and facilities at the hajj departure centres would facilitate a seamless transportation of the 2023 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
“You are a formidable partner in the Hajj operation. Though, there are certain considerations put in place during hajj transportation, we expect you to tell us the state of the various airports used for transportation of pilgrims.
“The committee should be time conscious as they would have limited time to carry out their assignments, going by the time line set by Saudi Arabia for all nations to conclude all Hajj arrangements.”
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Director, Airport Operations, Capt. Mukhtar Muye, said that FAAN commenced preparations for the 2024 hajj about two months ago.
This, according to him, is with a view to achieving a hitch-free Hajj operation.
He assured that the exercise would be completed before the commencement of the transportation of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia from the 16 departure airports across the country.
Muye, however, urged the commission to persuade the Tour Operators companies to comply with the arrangements of transportation of their pilgrims through the international Terminals instead of the Hajj Terminal.
According to him, that can deny the authorities valuable revenue that they are supposed to generate for the purpose of providing the necessary infrastructural facilities at the airports.
He assured the commission of the authority’s commitments to discharge its duties diligently so that Nigerian Pilgrims could experience a hitch-free exercise.
Aviation yet to fully recover from pandemic losses – IATA
The International Air Transport Association said the aviation sector is still recovering from losses of the pandemic which crippled flight operations globally.
Africa lost an estimated $7.7 billion in the aviation sector in 2020 as restrictions were put in place by governments to combat the spread of COVID-19, leading to a drop in traffic.
IATA estimated that Nigeria lost about N21 billion monthly during the outbreak. Analysts said it would take until 2024 for the situation in the aviation sector to improve and return to 2019 levels.
AITA’s Regional Vice-President, Africa and Middle East, Kamil Alawadhi, at the 55th AFRAA Annual General Meeting, warned governments to desist from seeing the aviation sector as cash cows if the sector must harness its growth potential.
He said, “Africa’s aviation industry is still recovering from significant losses due to the pandemic.
“To make up for this shortfall, governments should avoid imposing higher fees, levies, carbon taxes or new taxes on air transport, trade or tourism.
“These measures would only make air travel more expensive and less accessible in Africa, where the average airfare is already 30 percent higher than the industry average and the jet fuel cost is 10-20 per cent higher than the global average.”
While the sector continues to recover, higher costs will discourage customers who are sensitive to prices, which will impact revenue,” he said.
“They would also hamper economic development and limit the opportunities for job creation and income generation. High cost leads to high price, which reduces demand and growth in a price-elastic market, and ultimately affects connectivity negatively.”
He advised the governments to follow the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s policies on charges and infrastructure and consult with airlines and industry to ensure a fair and cost-effective operational environment that benefits a more connected continent.
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