NewsAFARN Okays Air Peace London Route, Commends FG On Payment Of Trapped...

AFARN Okays Air Peace London Route, Commends FG On Payment Of Trapped Funds

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March 26, (THEWILL)- The Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN) has expressed optimism and confidence in Air Peace’s proposed Lagos-London flight operation, scheduled to commence on March 30, 2024.

This is just as the foreign airline representatives also commended the federal government for finally paying the outstanding trapped funds of foreign airlines operating in Nigeria.

President of AFARN, Dr Kingsley Nwokoma, who gave the commendations on Monday, while addressing the media at the corporate office of AFARN in Lagos, confirmed that Air Peace has the capacity, to do smooth flight operations on the Lagos-London route.

Advising the airline, Nwokoma said: “As far as I am concerned, Nigerian Carriers such as Medview, Arik and Belleview, have done it in the past. There was no sustainability. It is for Air Peace to look back and find out the reasons why they were not able to sustain those routes. This is because the question there is not capacity. I will implore more of our carriers to get into the IATA Clearing House because that is very important. If you are in IATA Clearing House, you cannot be talking about alliances and collaborations.”

Pointing out reasons previous domestic carriers failed to sustain the London route, the aviation expert explained, “One of the major issues that made those carriers go into comatose is that many passengers want to fly and be sure that they can come back even though there is any issue.”

According to Nwokoma, passengers are very much interested in whether, there exist any alliance such that, if their choice airline cannot make it, they can join any other carrier immediately.

“For example, can they connect you to another airline if they are unable to make it? That is why you see carriers worldwide having alliances and the rest. Air Peace has been doing a couple of international operations successfully, so I don’t think this will be new, having operated in Sharjah, Dubai, Jeddah, SA and others. It is also a very strong airline too. Apart from the airfare, they should consider other areas such as On-Time Performance, food, and inflight services. However, sustainability is key.

Dr Nwokoma commended the federal government for paying up a substantial percentage of the trapped funds paid to the affected airlines and therefore called on the foreign airlines to start selling low inventory tickets that were withheld by them.

“To be precise, the last time we interacted, we zeroed our discussion mainly on the funds of foreign carriers, trapped in our system which of course is no longer news if you ask me. The news, however, is that out of $800 Million US Dollars, that substantial percentage of the funds has been paid to the affected airlines, even as the current Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Barrister Festus Keyamo, (SAN), is making concerted efforts to ensure that Foreign carriers, operating into the country are not short-changed under any guise.

“What is important is understanding that when you owe or do business, you try to pay on time so that the other party can keep going. If you owe that much and they are stuck, that means technically, the airlines wouldn’t be able to function. It is good to acknowledge if there is any positivity. The government is doing well so far bcos they have paid a substantial amount of money that is being owed. Hopefully, they will be encouraged to do as much as they can do. The CBN has done their own part, it is left for the commercial banks to play their part. We are pleased that we have made good grounds and progress”, Nwokoma added.

On AFARN’s upcoming Summit, Nwokoma said: “On the final note, we want to remind us all of our flagship Annual Safety Summit. It will come up in the third quarter of the year. The date, venue and time will be made public to you, our good friends of the media. AFARN is committed to being a partner in progress in the aviation industry of our country, having also taken it upon ourselves on a yearly basis to assemble safety experts in the industry to canvass and deepen the issue of safety which is the bedrock of our industry practice, and the world over.”

About the Author

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Anthony Awunor, is a business correspondent who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics (UNILAG). He is also an alumnus of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria Kaduna State. He lives in Lagos.

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Anthony Awunor, THEWILLhttps://thewillnews.com
Anthony Awunor, is a business correspondent who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics (UNILAG). He is also an alumnus of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria Kaduna State. He lives in Lagos.

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