Aviation Brands: NCAA To Audit Active Domestic Airlines As Recession Looms

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced that it is carrying out economic and financial audits of 8 remaining domestic airlines in Nigeria to determine the financial health and safety level of the airlines.

The 8 airlines still functional are Air Peace, Arik Air, Max Air, Green Africa, United Nigeria, Overland, Azman Air, and Ibom Air.

This was disclosed by Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General, NCAA, during an interview with journalists in Lagos.

Recently, domestic airlines have reduced from 10 to eight due to challenges of capacity and fuel. As a result, the remaining domestic airlines have raised their ticket prices in response to rising aviation fuel costs.

However, most Nigerians are unable to keep up with these price hikes, making safe travel unaffordable and a privilege for just a few.

Captain Nuhu revealed that the audit is to determine the financial health conditions of the airlines, adding that they have commenced intensive financial and economic audits on 3 indigenous airlines, which will be followed by the other 5 airlines soon.

It could be recalled that Aero Contractors voluntarily suspended its operations, while NCAA grounded the services of Dana Air, following its alleged failure to run safe operations.

He added that the scarcity of foreign exchange and the high price of Jet A1 has brought about challenges in Nigeria’s aviation industry, and urged that the regulator will not keep its guards down on safety.

“We are currently conducting financial and economic audits of airlines in the country. We have done two or three and other airlines will be taken in batches. I will discuss with the airline’s management the way forward.

“As I said, we have a financial crisis and we don’t want it to cross over into a safety crisis. We need to manage the situation.

“For now, we remain focused while working to address the solution to the financial difficulties in the airlines. This cannot go on forever, so we are working round the clock to find a solution.

“Yes, it is a very difficult situation, but we are just going to do what we are doing. We are working together and collaborating with others to address the situation in the industry,” he added.

In recent reports, Nigerian aviation requires $5 billion to upgrade the efficiency of its airport infrastructures, a necessary investment for its citizens who struggle to find safe modes of transportation.

Also, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that Nigeria was “withholding around $450 million generated by foreign airlines operating in the country.”

As a result, airlines including Dubai-based Emirates have decided to scale back their flying operations in Nigeria; as of August 15, 2022, there will be three fewer flights per week to Lagos, Nigeria.

This move poses a serious threat to the development of African tourism after COVID-19 because it will have an adverse effect on Nigeria’s and Africa’s connectivity, both of which are necessary for opportunities and partnerships on the global stage.

Nigerian aviation requires significant funding to provide citizens safe and affordable flights due to concerns about its 24-hour operations since robberies and kidnappings have invaded nighttime flights and travel.

Captain Musa Nuhu added that “The risks are enormous and seriously impacting on airports’ operations, airport workers, and airline passengers/crew even in the daytime. Due to the downturn in the country’s economy, available data shows that the levels of passenger and traffic activities are not financially viable or self-sustaining to operate a majority of the airports beyond sunset.”

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