The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology(NCAT)has stated the Nigerian aviation industry needed a deliberate recovery plan supported by the Federal Government and the external agencies for it to bounce back to the pre-COVID -19 era
The Rector/Chief Executive Officer of NCAT, Capt. Alkali Modibbo, stated this while speaking at the 25th annual conference of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) with the theme: Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy and Regulation,’
Modibbo argued that it would require collective efforts for the Nigerian aviation industry to overcome its current challenges, occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the sector presently required continued t injection of financial support, credits, offer of deferrals and discounts on charges and most especially concessions.
Modibbo pointed out that globally, the airline sub-sector was facing a “throat-cutting” competition especially from low-cost airlines despite the downward trend of passenger traffic due to the pandemic, stressing that airlines on the continent were worst hit by the crisis.
He lamented that in Nigeria, the airline sub-sector continued to face unpredictable costs, due to the devaluation of the Naira against the international currencies and irregular availability of aviation fuel.
These, among others, increase operational cost and technicality of airlines.
Speaking further he said,“As a result, operational services deteriorated when normal flight services were resumed, followed by frequent scheduled flight challenges and exorbitant ticket prices. This could be a symptom of the larger financial strain that airlines currently face. Fortunately here in Nigeria the airlines are tremendously picking up tempo with an encouraging passenger turn out.
He continued, “Governments and donor institutions should provide the funds to ensure the survival and the business continuity of key stakeholders of the aviation industry as recommended by the African Aviation Industry Group (AAIG) in 2020.”
He commended the Federal Government for investing in infrastructure across the various airports, despite the plans to privatise or concession the aerodromes.
He called on airline operators in the country to emulate their counterparts across the globe by adopting merger and aircraft leasing to help address the challenges of competitiveness and financial capacities, standardisation of sanitation and safety issues and norms to increase customer confidence.
The Rector said that NCAT, needed to upgrade its curriculum in line with the current situation of heightened operations, security, sanitation and the digital transformation of the industry.
In his words, “We need to look deeply into the changes, which the aviation value chain is undergoing to enable us design the training requirements that will critically produce the workforce a post-pandemic aviation industry will require,” .