…Says Insurance Coys In Nigeria Put Together Cannot Insure One Aircraft
As Nigerian airlines continues to groan as a result of the multiple taxes allegedly imposed on them by aviation agencies, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace , Mr Allen Onyema has stated that many airlines may go extinct if the taxes they pay were not reduced.
This is just as he called on the Federal Government to raise an independent firm to look into the taxes airlines in the country pay.
He said this while briefing journalists at the airline’s head office in Lagos yesterday.
Onyema said that the taxes domestic airlines in the country pay are about 37 in all and that they are too much, adding that these taxes further makes airline business in Nigeria a very difficult one.
According to him, “If taxes are not reduced many airlines will crumble. These taxes were not imposed on airline by this administration. They have been there before the Minister came in.”
He continued,”Let the Federal Government raise an independent consultancy firm to look at the taxes airlines in Nigeria pay.”
The Air Peace boss pointed out that the airline was not against taxation or paying taxes to relevant aviation authorities or other government organs, but that these taxes should have human face.
Onyema said that he would not blame government alone for the challenges domestic airlines are facing but that some airlines too should be blamed as well, as according to him some of them take loans, lease aircraft and will not pay back.
He added that this create problem for other people, who wants to either lease aircraft or borrow money, adding that Air Peace on its part “will continuously do the right thing and provide quality services to Nigerians.
On insurance, the Air Peace boss stated that the amount of money paid by airlines in the country to insure aircraft is on the high side.
Onyema disclosed that all the insurance companies in the country put together cannot insure one aircraft.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer said that the airline has lost over N3 billion on two of its aircraft involved in wing tip incident and the third one that was rammed into by the Skypower Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) ground handling equipment at the Benin Airport recently.
He explained that AG Waters of London has put the cost of repairs on one of the winglet aircraft at $650, 000, adding that the airline lost three aircraft in less than 24 hours.
Onyema stated that the loss of three aircraft led to the rescheduling of flights and that this also resulted to cancellations and delays, contending that there is no airline that will have this problem within 24 hours that will not face this same challenge.
The Air Peace boss said that loss of three airplanes in less than 24 hours led to massive disruption of the airline’s flights, adding that damaged airplanes may not return to the skies in the next two weeks, as the aircraft have to undergo re-certification by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as the safety of the passengers is upper most paramount to Air Peace.
Onyema said that the rescheduling of flights by the airline should not result into beating the airline’s Duty Officer in Abuja and stripping him naked by unruly passengers, adding that a lot of the passengers got involved because of ignorance.
In his words, “The delay is not in our style or was it intended. Some passengers are very unruly and some of the things they do in Nigeria, they cannot do it in Ghana. They beat up airline staff and strip them naked. A lot of them get unruly because of ignorance.”
He continued, “The airline staff are people’s children, husbands and wives, who need to be protected from unruly passengers while carrying out their duties at the airports.
The airline boss alleged that there has been clandestine move by some people he did mention their names to demean the airline, but that despite that Nigerians have been showing the airline love.
He, however apologised to the airline passengers for the delays and cancellations they experienced within this period, assuring that the carrier has come to stay and that the airplanes will soon return the skies as the aircraft are been attended to.