Nigerian airlines should collaborate – Expert

Nigerian airlines should collaborate – Expert

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An aviation consultant, Mr. Nick Fadugba, has expressed concern over the high number of airlines in the country which do not have critical mass in terms of fleet size and routes to compete effectively and make money.
Fadugba tasked Nigerian airlines to work together, especially on training, maintenance, and spare-part pooling and purchasing, as this would help lower their costs.
He said, “We have a situation in Nigeria today where we have too many airlines, which are too small, and their market is fragmented. None of the airlines has a critical mass, in terms of fleet or route network to become effective and to make money.
“When you look at Ethiopian Airlines, the combined fleet of all Nigerian airlines is about 40 per cent of the fleet of Ethiopian Airlines. We have approximately 40 aircraft as a country, all our airlines. Ethiopian Airline has 90 plus aircraft and most modern you can imagine. Not only that, in the next few years, they will operate about 130 aircraft. So, you see Ethiopian is thinking on a bigger scale. You could say that in Ethiopia, they have a monopoly, which is very different from Nigeria.
“So, what I will recommend for our Nigerian airlines is that they need to work together. They can compete for example on Lagos-Abuja or Abuja-Port Harcourt. They can work together on training, on maintenance, on spares pooling, on spare parts purchasing.
“There are many areas they can work together. They can still compete. It is done in the rest of the world. They can still compete and collaborate. More importantly, I would like to see Nigerian airlines come together,” he added.
According to him, ego is a big factor and it is a negative factor in the airline industry in Nigeria.
Fadugba said, “It is pulling us back. If you look around the world, British Airways is coming to Nigeria. Collectively within the IAG Group, they have about 600 plus aircraft. Delta Air Lines, over 600 plus aircraft. Or the Emirates, you can imagine huge planes. And yet, we have the market in terms of passengers.”

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