Aero Contractors, one of Nigeria’s largest domestic airlines, is set to lay off some of its workers as its financial crisis becomes worsened.
Already, the airline is in talks with aviation unions on how to cut down on the number of workers in its employ.
It was gathered on Sunday that the airline, which met with officials of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria last Thursday on the issue, would continue with the meeting this week.
Our correspondent also learnt that the carrier was facing stiff operational challenges, a development that led to the closure of some of its stations.
While officials of the carrier debunked claims that Aero was at the verge of shutting down completely, it was, however, gathered that the airline had not been able to bring in some of its airplanes that were sent out for routine maintenance due to foreign exchange constraints.
Officials of ATSSSAN and the Airline Operators of Nigeria told our correspondent on Sunday that the challenges were not peculiar to Aero alone.
They stressed that virtually all domestic airlines in Nigeria were being confronted with problems, ranging from double taxation by government agencies in the sector, scarcity of aviation fuel, popularly known as Jet A1 and difficulty in accessing forex.
For the past nine years, a major obstacle in Africa’s inability to meet its safety oversight functions is the lack of requisite competent manpower. President, Nigerian Aviation Safety Initiative (NASI), Capt. Dung Pam, quoting the World Bank, said tertiary enrolment for developing countries stood at 10 per cent of the population compared to 56 per cent for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
He noted that it is evident that Africa will find it challenging to produce the number of development professionals needed to sustain economic growth in the aviation sector without a serious change in her educational and labour policies.
Airlines Going under over Harsh Forex Regime
The Attahs, a family of six from Akwa-Ibom state, were in Lagos for a wedding ceremony and due to return 3pm Sunday.
Flying into Lagos from Uyo was hitch-free but the return trip was a different story.
After waiting among scores of other passengers at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, a message reached them that their flight has been cancelled.
There was no aviation fuel to fly them back to Uyo, five hours after they had arrived GAT.
On the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, where fuel shortage is not much of a problem, especially for foreign carriers, traveling is not without its own difficulties.
Aviation fuel: Foreign Airlines turn to Accra
Ghana, Nigeria’s neighbouring country, is fast becoming operational for foreign airlines in West Africa following high foreign exchange and scarcity as well as high cost of aviation fuel.
Already, some airlines now refuel from Accra, the Ghanaian capital, where aviation fuel is relatively cheap with a “less cumbersome” exchange rate system.
Airline operators in Nigeria have been groaning over the high cost of aviation fuel which jumped from N105 in March to N200 in Lagos and about N240 outside Lagos State which is the operational hub of all the airlines.
It was learnt that aviation fuel is sold at between N110 and N120 in Ghana. Sources said many foreign airlines in Nigeria are feeling the heat prompting them to consider re-fueling from Accra and deserting Abuja, the nation’s capital.http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/business/aviation-fuel-foreign-airlines-turn-to-accra/159786.html
IGP hails Air Peace chair over donation of buildingThe Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris has commended the Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, for building a police station in Uli, Ihiala local council of Anambra State.
Speaking during the commissioning of the project at the weekend, the IGP urged other Nigerians to emulate Onyema’s gesture aimed at ensuring security and peace in the country through his Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN).
Onyema said he constructed the station outside his Mbosi community because he was convinced that all Nigerians must support the Federal Government’s effort to ensure efficient policing
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Sam Okaula, who represented the IGP at the event, said: “Security is everybody’s business. We need to collaborate so that we can create enabling environment for peace to reign. Government cannot do it alone. Those God has blessed should contribute to the establishment of the right environment for providing security. And that is exactly what Onyema has done. I am overwhelmed that this is happening.