Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Yakubu Dati, has revealed that government plans to purchase 30 aircraft to assist private airlines in the country as part of its plans to boost operations in the aviation industry.
The GM made the disclosure at the inspection of reconstruction work at the Benin Airport on Wednesday. He said, “Government has concluded arrangement to procure 30 aircrafts as a way of supporting private airline operators to bring down air fares.”
Dati disclosed that the fund would be sourced in part from the aviation intervention fund managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Industry (BOI). He explained that rather than giving out aviation funds as it is done in the past when the funds were allegedly misused; the new development will involve buying and distributing aircraft to domestic airline operators.
“So with all these, we believe that eventually, we will now have cheaper tickets and by the time we have cheaper tickets, there will be higher traffic. Because if you cut the cost of doing business, then the person doing the business has no reason but to also cut the cost of running it because we believe that one hour flight in Nigeria shouldn’t cost more than N10, 000 or N15, 000 (about $100)” he said.
He added that “the whole idea is to make the business cheaper and easier to operate.”
“This is to help domestic airlines operate profitably and make it attractive for investors because spare parts are a major cost component in the aviation industry,” Dati added.