Home » Aviation: United Nigeria Airlines Chairman Says Nationwide Delays Mostly Beyond Airlines’ Control, Only 3% Attributed to Carriers

Aviation: United Nigeria Airlines Chairman Says Nationwide Delays Mostly Beyond Airlines’ Control, Only 3% Attributed to Carriers

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United Nigeria Airlines

United Nigeria Airlines’ Chairman, Obiora Okonkwo, highlighted that the recurrent travel delays witnessed by passengers in Nigeria can’t be solely attributed to airlines.

According to vanguardngr.com, He stated that airlines contribute only three percent of delays, the rest are beyond their control. This came even as the International Air Transportation Association, IATA, presents membership certificate to United Nigeria Airlines.

Speaking during the presentation, IATA’s Area Manager, West and Central Africa, Dr. Samson Fatokun, said: “This is a major milestone for the airline being a member of IATA.

“You have IATA behind you, and as our member, we do everything possible to support you in your operational progress. We are now part of the same family, you have also entered into the same family where bigger airlines of this world are.

READ: Africa: Nigerian Carrier, United Nigeria Airlines Becomes IATA Member

“You have met the requirements in safety side and other requirements put before you and you have done well, you have passed and you are here now, congratulations.”

Meanwhile, Okonkwo while commenting on development in the sector stated that that the membership of IATA would afford his airline the opportunity to do more.

He noted that it is surprising that there are Air Operator Certificate, AOC, owners in this country who are members of Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, that have only one helicopter servicing the oil industry.

READ: Africa: One Year of Seamless Aviation Operation By Nigerian Startup Carrier, United Nigeria Airlines

He said: “When you go to other parts of the world, there are people that have just two airports service.

“The issue is that the number of aircraft you have does not determine how fast you get to a destination and it does not solve the problem of delay.

“Only two to three percent of delays experienced by traveling passengers are from the airline, the rest are beyond airlines control.

“The problem of delays sometimes are due to inclement weather and other factors that have nothing to do with the number of aircraft you have.

“We started with four aircraft and today we have expanded based on our growth.

Most times, airlines delay flights possibly when the Instrument Landing System, ILS, is not calibrated or other factors. No airline wants to deliberately delay or cancel flights because it is a huge loss to them.”

Obiora stated that because of the poor utilization of aircraft occasioned by the fact that airlines do not operate to some airports beyond 6 pm, an average functional aircraft can operate for 15 to 18 hours daily, but Nigerian airlines fly an average of eight hours or less daily.

“The bottlenecks experienced as a result of inadequate infrastructure, bad weather in most cases, and the prevalence of unexpected VIP movements have forced airlines into a very difficult situation and made them not have value for their airplanes which cost so much just as many of the airplanes are on lease,” Okonkwo added.

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