The Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Mesfin Tasew has said the high fares being paid by air travellers in the aviation industry was due to a lack of dominant Nigerian airlines in the sector to compete with foreign carriers.
This according to him, has led to foreign airlines charging high fares on the Nigerian route and exploiting Nigerian travellers.
Tasew who spoke to selected journalists from Nigeria in Addis Ababa recently stated that the country needs a strong, dependable airline with capacity, remarking that if the national carrier is established, it will help existing airlines to improve their operational standard to compete effectively in the market to the benefit of air travellers in the country.
He said: “Our goal is not to kill Nigerian airlines, absolutely not. We have no intention of killing Nigerian airlines. Definitely we would have to setup a reliable airline, we have to provide the service that fits the needs of the Nigerian public. In fact, they have to be strong. If these airlines cannot be strong, they cannot compete.
“If they cannot compete, then some of them can go out of business. It is not peculiar to air transport business, in any business where there is competition, there is always competition. The stronger ones will grow, the weak ones, will get dwarfed. So, a strong airline, will force the other airlines to revisit their efficiency. To revisit their operation, to provide more dependable service from which at the end of the day the Nigerian pubic will benefit.
“People say if Ethiopian airlines come, it will kill Nigerian carriers, no, which we have no intention of killing Nigerian airlines but to provide good service. The competition of Ethiopian Airlines is not with African Airlines. This is what we always say. Our competition is always with non-African Airlines. We need strong African partners to withstand the competition from outside Africa.”