The Senate, yesterday, raised the alarm over an impending extinction of indigenous airlines if urgent steps were not taken to halt the designation of multiple routes within Nigeria to foreign airlines.
Consequently, the upper legislative chamber has summoned the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Managing Director of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), to explain why foreign airlines are allowed to fly multiple routes within Nigeria to mop up passengers in a manner that is not allowed in other countries.
It also directed foreign airlines to provide statistics of Nigerians in their employment with a view to encouraging them to employ more and partner with indigenous airlines in the country.
The Red Chamber further urged the Executive to give indigenous airlines necessary support and protection to keep them afloat, while inviting the indigenous airline operators to explain to the Senate the challenges they are facing in the aviation industry in the country as well as the way forward.
These resolutions of the Senate followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Ifeanyi Ubah, tagged “Unfair Competition-Urgent Need to protect Nigeria’s Indigenous Airlines from Extinction due to Multiple Designation and Multiple Frequencies granted Foreign Airlines in Nigeria”.
In the motion which was co-sponsored by 18 other senators, Uba was saddened that foreign airlines engaged in domestic flights to the detriment of local airlines.
He noted that it was only in Nigeria that such practices happen, saying that other countries have laws that protect their domestic airlines.
He said: “Note that foreign Airlines are now designated to multiple routes within Nigeria. For example, Ethiopia Airlines operates in five cities namely; Enugu, Kano, Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos; Turkish Airlines operates in four cities: Abuja, Lagos and Port-Harcourt and Emirates Airlines operates two frequencies daily into Lagos and one to Abuja.
“We are worried about the fate of the indigenous airlines with the spate of multiple designations given to the foreign Airlines.”