The President Aviation RoundTable Safety Initiatives, ARTSI, Elder Gbenga Olowo says the 3 weeks given domestic airlines and other stakeholders to prepare to recommence operations was good enough to do the needful as the industry has never stopped strategizing and talking all through the lockdown.
Speaking on his expectations as domestic operations is set to open by 21st of June, 2020, Elder Olowo emphasized that Nigeria airports should urgently update its system to minimize tonnes of human contacts and cut down on checkpoints.
He said as the industry continues to advance in Technology, the ease of doing business without or limited human contact would progress the industry further and challenge the skill set of employees.
The ARTSI President also stressed that Health certificate valid for at least 14 days scannable on phones just like boarding pass should be a necessary condition for travel to avoid isolation at the destination.
“Face mask, hand washing & sanitization will be a necessary and sufficient condition for travel.”
“The airlines have been advancing in technology prior to Covid19 on social distancing through self service for online ticketing and payments, self service check in, self service security & passport controls,etc.”
He harped on the sharing of Security information with Immigration, currency and Agriculture with the relevant agencies while the harmonised processes were automated.
Speaking on onboard social distancing, Elder Olowo says it would be quite challenging except Aircraft would be configured to all first class seats for economic operations.
According to him, no airline can ever break even with less than 40 % load factor at the extremely low fares prevalent in the market where Passengers pay less than $100 per hour on jet engines.
“This was the levels 30years ago precisely 1990 .Lagos Abuja N2200. exchange rate N 22/$. The dichotomy is can the passengers afford higher levels of tariff ?
This is where government intervention in Airline economics is needed in Nigeria by deliberate application of subsidies on fuel, taxes, airport charges,vat, 5% or lower interest rate on loans, quick FX availability, etc. in order to lower Airlines cost of operations.”