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Nigeria Air: Domestic Airlines Demand Level-playing Field



Domestic airline operators have said the new National Carrier known as Nigeria Air will not be a threat to them but called on the federal government to provide a level-playing field for all operators.

The operators disclosed this at a forum in Lagos. According to them, government’s decision to float a national carrier is a good one, but providing a level-playing field will protect their investments and give room for healthy competition.

Chairman of Air Peace, Barr Allen Onyema decried a situation where foreign airlines are given preference to the detriment of domestic airlines. “The new national carrier should not be given any undue advantage over other airlines as the owners are investors too,” he said. Managing director /chief executive officer of Medview Airlines, Alhaji Muneer Bankole stated that the national carrier is not a threat to domestic airlines. He said, “Some people feel that the introduction of the national carrier will enable the domestic airlines come together stronger in their business. It is not possible. Right now government must do everything possible not to frustrate existing carriers because of private investment. The creation of a level playing field remains critical to the sustenance of an effective aviation sector.”

He further said if the airline will be used to frustrate existing carriers, domestic operators would be opposed to it.

The federal government recently unveiled the name for the National Carrier as Nigeria Air at the Farnborough Airshow in the United Kingdom.