Saturday 27 April 2013

Growing need for airline consolidation in Nigeria - Aviation Experts

Aviation Nigeria

Akwa Ibom International Airport
Aviation experts have called for the consolidation of airline operators in the country. This they asserted will improve healthy competition and improve airline services in the country.

Aviation expert and President of Sabre Network West Africa, a United States-based airlines and global distribution system company, Mr. Gbenga Olowo, made this assertion while speaking in an interview on Channels television, early Friday morning. He also added that the position of current operators is that they are either stressed, insolvent, or outright distressed. This he insists indicate that in another 5 to 10 years, these airlines may not be there.

Gbenga Olowo pointed out that if Air France and KLM a French and Dutch airline can come together, and pitch in United Continental their aircraft fleet will go to about 1,700 airplanes. He also said that a small airline like the Uruguan Air has almost 200 airplanes, far greater than a pool of 6 airlines in Nigeria which had below 60 planes in total.

Olowo speaking on meeting the IATA proposal for aviation operators world wide and tagged 'A dozen airlines in 2050', said airline agencies will also have to introduce technologies which aid sales such as a Global Distribution System which enables increased commercial traffic internationally.

He commended the efforts of the Aviation minister Princess Stella Oduah for the on-going infrastructural developments and added that there would be further need for investment in aviation technology.

Also contributing in the interview, Vice President to Wizie Technology a USA based agency Vikaz Kannan said: "Smaller players don't get eliminated in healthy competition, they get stronger because the consolidations create an arena for multiple opportunities"

Kannan also urged Nigerian airlines to explore the advantages in synergies and work together voluntarily to achieve the sectors development. " It is often difficult in Nigeria for business people to voluntarily come together" He said.

Both experts agreed there was a need to consolidate aviation services as well as boost technological infrastructure at airports nationwide.


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