Group opposes bailout for domestic airlines
President of the group, Mr Gbenga Olowo, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
Olowo, who admitted that some of Nigeria’s airlines were currently facing challenging times, however, urged the government to pay serious attention to the aviation sector.
He said, “Government should get serious with this sector of the economy; without airlines, there are no airports.
“Airports are useless if you don’t have airlines; so, government should pay serious attention to the issue of airlines.
“It is not a bailout issue. No airline should ask for bailout and there should be no bailout for any airline in any form
“Anyway, government does not have such money to dole out to any airline for now.’’
According to him, the government should rather look into the issues of multiple taxation and scarcity of aviation fuel which are stifling the airlines.
Olowo said that those were the areas government should look into, adding “why should there be Value Added Tax (VAT) on air transportation when there is no VAT on road, rail or sea transportation?
“The government should be aware that it is killing the airlines because after paying these taxes, the monies left with them cannot cover cost.
“We are an oil-producing nation but there is no aviation fuel for our airlines. These airlines are using all the funds they have now to buy fuel which should have been bought on credit.”
Olowo, however, commended the government for removing import duty on aircraft spares, saying that it was a demonstration that it was committed to sustaining the aviation sector.