Balami emphasizes importance of cooperation amongst Nigerian airlines

July 30, 2020
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For the umpteenth time, Nigerian airlines have been advised to cooperate in the areas of codesharing and merger to survive the COVID-19 pandemic disaster and other economic hardship.

Advising the domestic airline operators, the Chairman, Association of Aircraft Maintenance Organization of Nigeria (AAMON),  Mr. Isaac David Balami, said there was no better time than now for the operators to put away their ego and save themselves from running into debts with the current poor passenger load factor they are recording on all the routes since the reopening of the airports.

Balami lamented the situation where each of the three airlines scheduled to fly to the same destination was carrying 20 to 30 passengers each on an aircraft with over a 100 seat capacity saying such did not make a good business sense.

According to him,  if the operators reached a code share agreement, all such passengers can be taken to that destination on a full aircraft operated by an operator, citing how this had been proved to be a win-win for many airlines around the world.

His words: “The problem of domestic airlines is that there is no unity. The way Air France and KLM are working together, you’d hardly see two, three airlines coming to work together. You see three airlines taking off at the same time with 55 passengers and they cannot say let us merge and let only one person go because of pride and lack of unity.”

While expressing optimism that if the strategic cooperation was embraced by the operators, if they will be ready to avoid any default to sustain the agreement, Balami stated: “It is not their fault also; sometimes you want to collaborate and partner with somebody and the person would want to take advantage of you; sometimes you agree on a code sharing formula some people will go and default and that takes us back to what we are talking about, national culture, corporate culture. You can’t give what you don’t have. We must train our children well now, to believe in themselves and to unite.

“So, the problem is that we need to look at that critically. We have issues; it is not easy. I look forward to airlines coming together as soon as possible to start doing this code sharing. At some point, an airline will tell you that my airline is the new generation, your own is the old generation.  How can you do code sharing? But there could be a balance”, the AAMON Chairman declared.

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