Expert seeks open bidding for international routes
An aviation expert Mr Taiwo Adenekan has urged the Federal Government to adopt an open bidding system for foreign carrier wishing to operate on international routes, arguing that this will bring about a level playing field for in the industry.
Adenekan said bidding for major international routes for international airlines that have the capacity to operate them and make returns to Nigerian government after some years should be explored.
He said the bid option had become imperative because of the impunity with which the government has been granting additional flight frequencies to foreign carriers without corresponding financial benefit.
Adenekan said the money to be raised from the bid process should be invested in setting up a national carrier that should be professionally run with foreign technical partners adding that until government goes ahead to review the 78 bilateral air agreements it has entered, Nigeria would not make enough gains from the deal.
He said the bid option is more lucrative than the pittance foreign airlines pay as royalties.
Adenekan, who is the Chief Executive Officer of PDT Consulting, explained that Nigeria should try as much as possible to protect its domestic carriers from bigger foreign airlines who easily capitalise on various air treaties.
He expressed disappointment at the government’s generosity in granting both extra frequencies and entry points to foreign airlines at the detriment of domestic carriers.
He said: “We have multiple entries in this country. Ticket sales by foreign airlines alone for last year ran into billions of naira. So, multiple entries give more money to the foreign airlines at the detriment of the domestic airlines.”
He said of the 78 bilateral air services agreement Nigeria signed with many countries and their carriers, only 12 are reciprocated. He said it is unprofitable for the government to grant multiple entry points for foreign carriers into the country when such countries do not grant indigenous carriers such leverage in their country.
Adenekan said the air agreements Nigeria signed are skewed in favour of foreign carriers. He pointed out that the multiple entry points granted foreign carriers would contribute to the demise of many indigenous carriers.
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