By Peace Busari
Lead Consultant at Etimfri Group, Amos Akpan has encouraged Nigerian airlines to think outside the box to ensure the survival of their businesses amid the covid-19 pandemic.
He noted that some of the challenges facing operators will not be resolved by government but by airlines themselves through collaboration in certain areas including fuel distribution, maintenance hangars etc.
Meanwhile, Akpan gave his advice to all airlines emphasizing that only by alliances with International organizations can they gain infrastructural and organizational assistance.
He urged them to enter agreements with financial institutions to create a payment clearing system for all operators in the industry as well as float an aviation insurance brokerage firm.
In his words “the need to enter Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with financial institutions is now a necessity because the airlines need to accept tickets, waybills, spare parts from each other”.
According to him, “airlines need to unite and float an aviation fuel distribution company to compete with existing ones. They need to set up depots and distribution channels, import/bulk purchase aviation fuel and sell to operators.
In addition, all airlines should build at least one ultramodern maintenance hangar and enter into a working MoU with aircraft manufacturers including Embraer, Boeing, Airbus, and Bombardier.
Indigenous airlines should also create a leasing company with foreign investment companies as shareholders. The handling companies, the airlines, the aviation agencies need a lease -hold institution that understands their business modules.
Akpan also canvassed that the airlines needed to be better organized by creating an AON Secretariat managed by non operator. He advocated a secretary, an administrator, and an auditor to manage the Secretariat.
According to him, airline owners and operators should stop dividing their attention between managing AON and the daily operations of their airlines.
This will eliminate unnecessary excess capacity on specific routes, help reduce ground time incurred on turn around maintenance due to the wait for arrival of spare parts, boost customers confidence in their system through the cargo and passenger agents.
ETIMFRI Group Consultant said, “Thinking out of the box is required in the present circumstance. Some people will say they cannot pay their current bills therefore they cannot import or bulk purchase fuel, or form leasing company, or insurance brokage. Some will say they cannot create a financial clearing house because they lack corporate governance. But by alliances with International organizations, they will gain infrastructural and organizational assistance that enables them.