Medview Boss Decries Govt Policy On Foreign Airlines (allAfrica.com)

The CEO of Medview Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole has condemned the policy of the federal government that encourages foreign airlines to have multiple entries into Nigeria, thereby denying domestic carriers the opportunity to code-share or engage in any partnership with the international carriers.
Such partnerships would enhance technical and other supports from international operators who would depend on domestic carriers to distribute passengers to local destinations from any of the nation’s international airports.
“Government should build up the environment and encourage the local carriers in a way that will benefit Nigerians. This is because the people they (foreign airlines) are taking out and bringing in are Nigerians. That is why we said that government should look inwards, develop the local market and help our people,” he said.
Bankole made this known recently when the airline added another aircraft, Boeing B737-400 to its fleet, noting that if Nigerian airlines were supported by government they would be able to develop and engage skilled manpower in the sector.
The Medview Boss said the airline had secured slots for flights into Jeddah and Dubai in Saudi Arabia and the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) and was also granted four weekly flight slots from the Lagos – Abuja – Kano airports into Jeddah by the General Civil Aviation Authority of Saudi Arabia .
The airline, he said was also granted three weekly slots for flight on the Abuja – Dubai route.
He said another Boeing 767-300 aircraft extended range would be delivered in three months to service its long haul operations, adding that with increased aircraft in its fleet it would open new domestic routes , which he listed to include Asaba, Uyo and Kano.
He disclosed that the Jeddah and Dubai operations will soon be unveiled as the airline was putting last minute efforts in place for a hitch free flight.
Bankole said the Lagos – Accra flights would resume soon, as its temporary suspension was due to issues related to containment of the Ebola crisis which affected some West African countries.
He said Medview airline would continue to consolidate its market share in the domestic scene having air lifted over 760.000 passengers since it started operations. He assured that when the aircraft in the fleet of the airline reaches six, it plans attain one million passengers mark.
He commended government for the directive to airlines to engage Nigeria trained pilots, adding that human capacity development is key to the growth and sustenance of aviation, adding that domestic carriers would continue to engage Nigerian pilots, berating foreign carriers for engaging in capital flight without giving anything back for the development of the nation’s aviation sector.
“As we have told you earlier, we have additional two 737-400 which we said would be joining the fleet at the beginning of the year. This will make a total of five classic aircraft. In addition to this, by His grace, coming May, Boeing 767 ER will join the fleet but it will be for the long range. As you know, we are designated for Jeddah and Dubai and other international operation. So with that it will make a total of six aircraft.
“Increase in aircraft is increase in capacity and increase in number. With the previous aircraft we have given you the record. For two years we carried over 760,000 passengers, so with the additional aircraft you should be expecting over a million passengers airlifted by our fleet. We are coming up with the details on our Kano-Abuja-Jeddah flight operation. We have all approvals and four slots from the Saudi Arabia authority. That means we are operating from Lagos to Abuja to Kano and direct to Jeddah. We have three frequencies out of Abuja to Dubai. We have fulfilled all righteousness and we are ready”, Bankole said.
On the performance the airline, he said, “At the moment our performance rating has gone beyond 80, 85 per cent. That is on record and one thing that go for Medview is on-time. We have in-flight services that cannot be compared with that of any local airline. To be precise, I told you, we established the six geo-political zones when we were drawing our operational plan. We have been present in the south-south, Port Harcourt, south east, Enugu, present in north east, Yola, present in north central in Abuja and present in South west in Lagos. That is the home base,” the Medview Airline CEO added.