Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has urged passengers to bear with domestic airlines for the delays and cancellations experienced in recent time.
Vice-Chairman of AON, Allen Onyema, made the appeal during an interview at the 25th annual conference held in Lagos, by the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC).
Onyema said flight cancellation often comes at a great cost to the airlines’ management unlike when the scheduled flight is promptly executed. He also said that many passengers are ignorant of issues of weather conditions, which is a strong factor for flight safety.
He appealed to passengers to bear with the airline operators, saying they are in business to serve Nigerians but that safety and comfort cannot be compromised.
He reminded travellers that there is no parking bay in the sky for conducting checks and fixing glitches hence, the delays. But he assured that things are now looking up for the better in the industry.
Onyema urged airport managers to improve on facilitation as lack of adequate equipment at the terminal oftentimes, instigated delays that were avoidable
He cited a situation which he said airlines often experienced at an airport during the peak period with the departure hall filled to the brim by the passengers. He said that sadly, out of about 10 check-in counters, only one or two would be functioning while about five airlines would have positioned their aircraft for take-off barely at the same time.
He said time is often frittered away, due to such scenarios and other similar circumstances that are very well preventable.
On the management of airlines, he advocated the right governing structures for operators by appointing neutral boards bereft of primordial sentiments to be able to caution the owner and management anytime they are going awry.
He said reasons have been given for the collapse of airlines in the country ranging from management to regulation and policy but stressed that all that is changing and the industry was emulating good policies to keep it under checks.
“Before COVID, a lot has been said about issues bordering on management of airlines in Nigeria vis-à-vis the death rate of airlines in this country. Fingers have been pointed on the management by the owners, stakeholders regulations have been also blamed and policies have been blamed but over time, things have started evolving and it can only be better, we hop for the best.
“It could be down to the management of these airlines too, it could even be as a result of our own short comings in the sense that the kind of management you bring to bear on your other endeavors you have handled if you bring that to aviation you may fail.
“A lot of people have talked about the governing structure of these airlines, as far as I am concerned you cannot cry more than the bereaved. I still believe an owner of a business will do everything possible to make it succeed, however these owners make take certain decisions that may be injurious to them without them knowing it, that is why I advocate the management of airlines in the country whether private or government-owned.
“We must have to imbibe the globally accepted practices, to help us checkmate ourselves. We must have boards for these airlines, even if you are the sole owner, you must have a board to stop you when you are going the wrong way and allow the board have a freehand to advise you and in choosing members of your board you must make sure primordial sentiments are shunned,”he said.