18 Nigerian airlines submit CBN restart funds applications to AON

 

*Jed Air, Dana, Azman, First Nation, Top Brass, Quorum, others submit list

*Megisson laments COVID-19 impact on carriers

Amid harsh economic realities occasioned by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, eighteen Nigerian airlines have submitted their Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) funds application documents to their umbrella body, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON).

Some of the airlines have not operated for more than two years and call to question the reason for government’s assistance to them.

But analysts said many of them still hold valid Air Operator Certificates (AOC) that still qualifies them to be regarded as airlines.

The documents had been submitted to the AON secretariat and Max Air office in Abuja for onward transmission to the apex bank.

Airlines that have submitted their documents for CBN restart funds include Dornier Airlines, OAS Helicopters, Omniblu Aviation, Quorum, Allied Air, Top Brass, TAL, ANAP Jets, West Link, Jed Air, Executive Jets, Kings Airlines and First Nation Airways.

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Other airlines that submitted in Abuja included Dana Air, Max Air Limited, Skyjet Aviation Services Limited, Skypower Express Airways.

The documents duly submitted, sealed and had been submitted and delivered to the coordinator, Mr. Allen Onyema who is the Managing Director of Air Peace for onward delivery to the CBN Governor on behalf of AON.

 

Chairman, AON, Capt. Noggie Meggison told Woleshadarenews said what the airlines are asking for was grants same way it is done in the United States to save many airlines from the realities of COVID-19 to aviation industry.

The AON chief lamented that many airlines may not come back to operations because of the huge impact the deadly disease and closure of airspace has done to not only the aviation industry but the entire sectors of Nigeria’s economy.

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His words, “Aviation is a catalyst for economic growth. It is one of the sectors that should not be allowed to go under. It is a big sector like telecommunications, agriculture, and education among others. Government needs to help us. We are not talking about a palliative that the government is planning for the entire sector, but grants to assist the carriers.”

Meggison admitted that the government is equally looking for money to meet many of its obligations but pleaded that the carriers need assistance to surmount many challenges they currently face.

He reiterated that what the operators are asking for is totally different from government’s stimulus package that has been earmarked for settling workers’ salaries and other operational needs.

Meggison, who is also the Managing Director of Jed Air, equally lamented passengers’ apathy to air travel, stressing that many of the airlines are running at huge loss.

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He said three airlines operated less than 40 passengers in their airplanes from Abuja to Lagos, describing it as not encouraging.

He said airlines should look at operating at most two flights a day to curb the losses, adding that the factors that would drive traffic are not in place yet.

He listed the factors as economic, fear by people to fly for now, hinting that those that are flying are those who were caught up in the lockdown and other essential government workers.

The industry he further could bounce back from November or December 2020, stressing that many major airlines across the globe are facing similar problems.

Wole Shadare