Medview Airline MD Appeals To FG For Urgent Intervention For Airlines
…Asks Government To Encouraged Private MRO Such As Aero’s
The Managing Director, Med-View Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, has appealed to the Federal Government to provide early its intervention plans for airlines in the country to sustain the safety already achieved in the industry in the past few years.
This is just as he advised the Federal Government to invest in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in a bid to save foreign exchange for airline operators.
Bankole stated these today in an interview in Lagos.
The Medview boss stated that government’s palliatives for operating airlines was necessary as a result of the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the country’s aviation industry especially the airline sub-sector.
He, however lamented that that aviation industry was the worst hit by the pandemic, which had been ravaging global economies.
To sustain the successes so far recorded in the sector, Bankole said government needed to give operators palliatives to mitigate the effect of the losses on operations of the airlines.
He explained that most operators found it difficult to render welfare obligations to their staff, stressing that most are struggling to ensure regular payment of salaries to their workers.
On the reopening of the airspace, Bankole called on the Federal Government to reopen the airspace for flight operations in the next few weeks, beginning with starting with domestic operations.
He decried the grounding of aircraft for almost two months would have led to Airworthiness Directives (ADs) on them, while corrosions would have increased due to lack of use.
According to him, “When you fly 200 hours, there are certain checks you do, when you increase that to 400 hours, there are certain checks you need to do again. Also, when you don’t fly again, you still need to carry out some checks on your aircraft because corrosion will set in and some of the pilots’ licenses would have expired by now.
He continued, “Aviation industry in general demands for a window. You can see the effect the current pandemic has had on aviation industry globally. The virus, which started from China, spread to the world and disrupted activities within a few months. This will not have happened if not through the air. The airport environment too has changed, while social distancing directive must be complied with. Safety of the frontline workers is very important.”
Speaking further, the Medview MD said, “Aviation needs palliatives to bring life back to it. 90 per cent of workers are at home now. The government should think very critically about the issues of palliatives to the sector. The industry is dying. The sincerity of what we are saying is that the government should see its palliative as a means of life saving lives, fastest means of bringing back economy to live and improve the lives of everybody.”
Bankole further advocated for more investments in MRO to safe cost for the operators in the country, calling on the Federal Government to encourage private maintenance companies in the country such as Aero Contractors.
He pointed out that the fall of the Naira against major currencies especially the Dollar would have adverse effect on operators, but that with the intervention of the Federal Government the effect may be minimised.
In his words, “In the light of all these, we have been shouting of basic thing like provision of MRO. Local MRO companies like Aero should now be encouraged with a little investment. This will save operators a lot of embarrassment. Instead of carrying out our aircraft to outside the country for maintenance and doing it in dollars, we can easily do such here in Nigeria.”
On the 2020 annual Hajj exercise to Saudi Arabia, Bankole said Med-View would be willing to participate in the event, but agreed that a lot of work still needed to be done to ensure a safe clime for participants.
According to him, “It is very important for us to pray and ask for God’s guidance. We should also pray for the Nigerian government. We still have a few weeks to go. Officially, we are to commence hajj operations in Nigeria on June 22, 2020, we still have over a month to go.”