Aviation Round Table Initiative (ARTI), a body of professional and experienced aviators in the country has thrown its weight behind the proposed national Carrier.
In the light of recent disturbing development in the industry and the opaque conceptual issues attached to the National Carrier, ARTI equivocally stated that they are in total support of the proposal.
In an official document issued recently to the media and signed by the President of ARTI, Olu Ohunayo, the body stated “that we support the establishment of national carrier/s devoid of government financial input but driven strictly by investors. Government should provide the necessary enabling ground and aero-political support environment.
ARTI support for this project is hinged on our recognition of the desirability of a national carrier and the observed floundering of our flag carriers on the international routes. These shortcomings are traceable to weak government policies and poor negotiations skills in various agreements”.
ARTI in the statement recommended that the proposed national carrier/s should be granted full compliments of the appropriate status, independence to be the arrow head in the implementation of operational issues arising from BASAs and MASAs to which Nigeria is a signatory unhindered by any concessions or agreements however made.
It also stated that “All existing concessions and agreements from which benefits are being derived by any person or corporate bodies capable of impinging on the operations of the proposed national carrier/s shall cease forthwith at the inception of the national carrier/s”.
The professional body said that any outstanding obligations arising from agreements made prior to the emergence of the National Carrier must be renegotiated between the national carrier and such flag carrier which will be supervised by the regulator NCAA.
The corporate objective of the proposed carrier/s should be consistent delivery of excellent & competitive customer services (Inter, intra Africa & Global); adopting Global Best Standard (Schedule Integrity, Global Alliances etc) and reciprocation of all air services agreement with Nigeria & reverse negative balance of trade through patriotically renegotiated commercial agreements spinoff of the BASAS.
By ANTHONY AWUNOR