Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, the Towulade of Akinale in Ogun, on Monday urged the nation’s domestic airlines to create synergies that would enhance smooth operations and growth among them.
Ogunleye, a former General Manager in charge of Public Affairs for the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL), made the call while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.
Ogunleye with over 25 years working experience in the aviation sector said that no airline could survive without synergising with others.
He urged airline operators to jettison their ego and work together to improve the nation’s aviation industry.
“For our indigenous airlines to function maximally and grow there must be collaborations among airline owners.
“They should be able to code-share.
“When a particular airline has just five passengers going to a particular destination, it should be able to merge its passengers with another airline while they share the profit.
“It is disheartening to hear people still talk about synergies which we have been suggesting to operators for over 20 years now,” he said.
The monarch said that unstable government policies, lack of patriotism in patronising local airlines and unfavourable bilateral air service agreement for Nigeria had also been challenges facing the aviation industry.
“I worked in the Nigeria Airways for 25 years and within those years, I served about 16 Managing Directors who came up with different policies on assumption of office, government must put a stop to this.
“The Ethiopian Airline at a time had a Managing Director that served 14 years; this gives room for growth, and we need consistent aviation policies.
“The ministries must ensure that regular seminars are organised to familiarise stakeholders with the policies put in place.’’
Ogunleye urged Nigerians to remain patriotic by patronising the nation’s airlines.
He said that other airlines were being given opportunities to grow when Nigerians abandoned theirs.
“Then, Nigerians would leave NAL for Lufthansa, British Airways or other airlines.’’
He said that Nigerians then used to complain that NAL was rendering poor services to them.
Ogunleye said that Nigerians had forgotten that it was their money those foreign airlines they were patronising used to build their airlines.
“This is still the practice and it is a sad development.
“The bilateral air service agreement signed with other countries is one sided.
“How can other countries’ aircraft be allowed to land in two or more international airports in Nigeria while Nigerian airlines will only be allowed to land in one place in other countries.
“This is unfair and must be reviewed,” he said.
Ogunleye reiterated that for the Nigerian aviation industry to be taken to the next level, Nigerians must be patriotic by patronising them.
According to him, airline owners should collaborate; work in unity to achieve a common goal and the bilateral air service agreement reviewed.