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Why domestic airlines don’t last —Key players

Stakeholders across the country’s aviation sector have traced the short life span of Nigeria’s domestic airlines’ to what they described as lack of corporate governance principles by their owners and managers; faulty business plan; lack of technical knowledge of the industry and unsuitability of aircraft type.

Making this declaration at the Quarter Four 2018 Business Breakfast Meeting of Aviation Roundtable in Lagos, the key players including the former Director of Human Resources, Virgin Nigeria Airways and Director General Institute of Directors (IOD), Mr Victor Banjo; former Managing Director of Aero Contractors and Air Nigeria, Captain Dapo Olumide; President of Aviation Roundtable, Mt Gbenga Olowo and Chief Executive Officer, Overland Airways, Captain Edward Boyo, believed that many carriers failed in Nigeria because their owners failed to adhere to the code of corporate governance and other factors that has increased the burst and boom circle of airlines.

Speaking at the ART meeting, Banjo who was the guest speaker, while delivering a paper entitled : “Short Life Span of Nigerian Airlines: Importance of Corporate Governance,” stated that many carriers failed because of absence of professional management; absence of internal audit; government interference and lack of protection of whistle-blowers.

According to him, corporate governance provides the controls and discipline operators need and that adoption of corporate governance practices promote effective leadership and corporate sustainability,

Also speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Overland Airways, Captain Edward Boyo, however, declared that the failure of Nigerian airlines was due primarily to unfavourable operating environment for airlines in the country.

Boyo while insisting that not only good corporate governance could make an airline successful, added that the issue of Virgin Nigeria, despite its seemingly good corporate governance was planned to fail.

The airline chief accused the players in the sector including the government and aviation agencies of displaying hostility towards the airlines, stressing that no airline anywhere in the world could operate successfully in Nigeria under the current condition.

His words; “The agencies and stakeholders are so hostile to the airlines; we talk them down at every given opportunity. Nigerian airlines need the right atmosphere and environment to operate profitably. But, at every opportunity we have, rather than encourage the airlines, we talk them down without respect.”

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