Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), yesterday, confirmed that the local commercial airlines are in financial dire straits, requiring concerted efforts to avert industry shutdown.
Barely a month after operators raised the alarm about the imminent collapse of three local carriers, the prediction perhaps has its first casualty in Aero Contractors airline.
After months of speculation on the financial health of the oldest local airline in the country, Aero Contractors yesterday announced a temporary suspension of flight operations, effective from tomorrow.
The management of Aero Contractors Company Nig. Ltd., said it would temporarily suspend scheduled passenger services operations from Wednesday.
A coalition of aviation workers' unions yesterday, raised the alarm over alleged imminent plan to ground Areo Contractors airline and further downsize another 40 per cent of its workforce.
For the second time in two months, the National Assembly on Monday, summoned airline operators, oil marketers, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to a round-table over soaring cost of jet fuel for which the operators threatened to shut down local air transport services.
Six local airlines, yesterday, agreed to shelve rivalry as they entered into a commercial alliance on mutual support in the area of operation.
Despite an appreciable surge in the number of new investors angling to float local airlines, the industry is much more in a precarious zone with operators struggling with depleted fleet capacity and low market penetration.
Aviation workers’ unions have threatened to picket Aero Contractors over unpaid salary and alleged malfeasance in the management-workers’ relationship at the struggling airline.
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