Capt. Ado Sanusi Managing Director, Aero Contractors Nigeria
The Managing Director, Aero Contractors Nigeria, Captain Ado Sanusi says Nigeria domestic airlines are suffocating in the business due to lack of forex for aircraft spares, payment of subscription and leases.
He said if government fails to come to the rescue, the local airlines would gradually go into oblivion.
In a chat with reporters in his office, Capt. Sanusi stressed that the airlines cannot continue to source forex from the autonomous markets, adding that the banks were not even willing to assist in this regard, adding that they have defaulted in payment of subscriptions and leases.
He stated that though the naira was available, there was no dollar to buy even at the current rate of 470 naira to a dollar.
“The local airlines will survive only if the Federal Government in the provision of foreign exchange to the local airlines, if that is not done the airlines will die one by one because we cannot continue to source foreign exchange from autonomous markets at N470 to a dollar even if you go there, you might find it difficult to find the dollar.”
The Aero Contractors boss explained that this had greatly affected his airline as he had returned helicopters and aircraft engines to their owners because he could not source forex to pay for the leases.
“I have returned two engines, I have returned helicopter, subscription for Boeing is due and am still trying to plead with them to give me another month because am still pleading with the bank to give us foreign exchange and they are saying the waiting period is three months, nobody will wait for you 3 months to pay your less rental or to pay your subscription.”
Sanusi noted that efforts being by the body of operators seem not to be yielding the desired results as they continued to operate in this harsh environment.
” We are all in default now because we are looking for dollars not that we don’t have the naira we are looking for dollars to pay for subscriptions to pay for engine leases, so the airlines, will not survive if Federal Government does not intervene with dollars or with foreign exchange injection into the industry.”
“Yes, am sure the AON has written and a lot of people have written but we would also make a position known and I believe the FG understands that they must intervene immediately or airlines will going under one by one.”