As Nigeria’s aviation sector experience frequent delays and flight cancellations by operators in the subsector, travel, aviation and tourism expert, Mr. Ikechi Uko, has urged carriers in the industry to build capacity and also embrace interline and codeshare.
According to newsbulletinng.com, Mr. Uko while commenting on reasons for the current delays and flight cancellations, said most of the problems Nigerian airlines are having now, are due to the fact that the airlines do not admit they have capacity issues.
He however, pointed out that looking at the carriers carefully; it is observed that the airlines are not operating at optimal capacity.
“Most of the airlines are using smaller aircraft, those that have large fleet most of them are not operational so you have an increase number of passengers I like to believe that but you have a limited supply of equipment so when you have such a mismatch there is going to be a lot of problems and because there is a limited number of equipment when there is an issue with one aircraft there is a problem of flight delay, of flight cancellation and there so many reasons for aircraft on ground now, there are so many reasons and until the Nigerian airline come back to full health these problems will remain with us”.
On interline, Uko who is also the Publisher of the African Travellers Quarterly, atqnews Magazine said, interline and partnership can save the airlines from the challenges they are grappling with in terms of delays and cancellations of flights.
According to him, “I have seen how Star Alliance has connected the whole world; there are places you cannot fly to but I can fly to, there are places you have greater capacity so we Codeshare”.
He cited one of the most successful Codeshare in Nigeria as that undertaken by KLM/Northwest, where KLM flew passengers to Amsterdam and then Northwest distributes them round America.
Emphazising further, Uko said, codeshare and alliances work very well when airlines have capacity issues as it helps to distribute flight schedules in a more benefiting manner.
For instance, he said “instead of all the 10 aircraft trying to go to Abuja in the morning and you have 50-50 passengers, you rather have 5 go with all of them full; and you can now say okay, I will fly at 9am, you fly at 10am and we will distribute it and everybody gets passengers”.
The absence of these kind of collaboration as in Codeshare and interline, according to Uko has caused Nigeria a lot.
He maintained that, the reason why Nigerian airlines are afraid to enter into such partnerships, is because of issues of trust, standards of operation and quality services.
“If you are going to be a member of Star Alliance for instance, there are particular commonalities even in aircraft types, seat type. There are basic things of Star Alliance”.
He also pointed out that Nigerian airlines have not gotten to that point, where there is a common standard like that for IOSA, adding that “there is a particular level but for service, they are not all at a particular level. Some have good inflight services, some have very good check-in services, some have good online services, the service standards do not permit for an efficient collaboration for now”.