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By Dr. Gabriel Olowo
I am perturbed with the endless Flight Evacuations before & during Covid19 plague these past 6 months.
I am particularly worried why Evacuation flights is seemingly replacing Commercial flights after the new travel protocols have been established, all stake holders have complied with international set rules and people love to travel for various reasons. Tickets are presently sold higher and above regular commercial rates.
To those of us in aviation , Evacuation flight should by definition be a rescue flight operation consequent of force majeur situation with cost borne by government during emergency and relatively short period of time. But this is not the case any more as operation is already entering the 6th month and counting.
These routine Evacuation flights especially to &from Nigeria via neighboring countries ( when travel across international borders is supposedly barned ) is a huge economic deprivation and capital flight from Nigeria.
One wonders which direction this Covid19 new normal is pointing to after 6months of empty treasuries of our airlines, airports and all allied services ?
It is expedient for all economies ( west African and African block ) in particular to immediately consider joint lifting of the travel barn rather than reinventing the wheel of bilateral air services agreement given that the new Control Protocols are working and implemented.
Olowo, who is President of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative, ASRTI, and CEO Sabre Travel Network West Africa writes from LagosGoogle+