More airlines are slated to go the way of Dana Air, which was slammed with suspension of its operating licences by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), on Wednesday, going by indications from the same quarters on Friday.
The economic audit by the agency said the same treatment would be extended to other carriers whose operations are reportedly showing signs of frailty and wobbling financially, sources close to the NCAA, said even as the airline operators are themselves threatening of closing down their operations as a result of difficulties in doing business.
Virtually all the Nigerian carriers are in dire financial straits, with extreme difficult to meet up with their daily needs and operations as they are collectively indebted to aviation service providers to the tune of over N22 billion, and debts to fuel marketers, aircraft crew, workers and maintenance firms running into several billions of naira.
New Telegraph, quoting an NCAA, who indicated the aviation regulatory body had slated many other airlines for financial audits, but was silent on the carriers, as saying: The source noted that many of the airlines are going through difficult times, arguing that it was very difficult to see any carrier with good financial health. He added that something needed to be done urgently to stem the risk of many of them falling into a situation that would make them stop operations.
A former Commandant, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Grp. Captain John Ojikutu (rtd), said what the regulatory body was doing ought to have been done a lot of time ago, adding that the NCAA is required to audit the balance sheet of the airlines every year.
His words: “They are supposed to have done it a long time. In fact, they are supposed to be doing it every year while the audit of the aviation agencies is supposed to be every four tears according to NCAA regulations. We blame the NCAA for most of the things that are happening. “In the days of Dr. Harold Demuren, they were proactive and took actions when it was necessary. We are seeing lethargy from the NCAA.”