Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), an umbrella body of airline operators in the country have raised the alarm over the ordeals and consequent collapse of airlines in the country, stressing that the death of the airlines are due to multiple charges by the authorities.

AON stated that they have been complaining about the same issue over the years that have culminated in sending over 27 airlines under in the past 25 years.

The association lamented that in a time of economic recession which the country is battling with,  it is unfortunate that the system has failed to recognise airlines’ areas of pivot and one of the pillars to jumpstart the economy of Nigeria of today out of the recession.

The airline operators in an official statement issued yesterday, signed by its Chairman stated that the system is continuously manipulating, feasting and pushing the financial envelope of airlines by inflicting multiple taxes, charges and levies to the extent that airlines are now groaning under the pressure and some are going bankrupt

A case in point, the airlines’ operators pointed out is the recent takeover of Arik Air and Aero Contractors by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in the face of huge financial burdens that have shown themselves as fallout of the multiple and sometimes unfair charges, levies and taxes airlines are forced to grapple with on a daily basis.

This is without recourse to the fact that aside from all the multiple charges, levies and fees, airlines still have to pay mandatory statutory corporate taxes to relevant agencies,

Speaking on their ordeal, Sir Meggison said, “Ordinarily, airlines meet so many costly foreign exchange components on daily basis that accounts for 70% – 80% of their direct operational cost such as Jet fuel, spare parts, insurance and simulator training among several others” .

AON emphasised that it is unfortunate that domestic airlines have become a cheap target for the agencies that are putting additional pains and burden on operators through multiple taxes, charges and levies which they demand from airlines with impunity.

The professional body commended President Buhari administration for approving the implementation of the provision such that aircraft goods and spare parts have zero duty. It however, pointed out that the law is not being fully applied by the relevant agency to commercial air transportation which is a critical service to drive the economy.

Source : Leadership