Operator worries over delay in regional operations’ take off at MMA2

MMA2, departure hall

MMA2, departure hall

THE management of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2) has expressed concern over the delay in securing regulatory approval for the commencement of international operations at the terminal.

Speaking in Lagos at the annual customers and stakeholders’ appreciation dinner of BASL, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Christophe Penninck said it was saddening that some stakeholders in the aviation industry have been actively working against MMA2’s bid to secure the needed approval, despite the huge investment the operator of has committed to the project.

He added: “It pains me to say thank you to such stakeholders for having us blocked us from populating the international flights schedule. We have invested so much in infrastructure and other developments. Unfortunately, right now, we have been unable to continue with further development. Although we collaborate with the authorities, it would be nice for us to be able to develop even more. This venue is supposed to be the international boarding gate for MMA2. If we have the opportunity to operate international flights, it will not only benefit us, it will also benefit the airlines operating here”.

“I know for a fact that Aero, Dana and Med-View airlines operate international flights to Accra. It will make operational sense to combine that arrangement with their respective domestic operations. There is a competitive advantage in operating from the same terminal where they have their local flights operations.

“Hopefully, in the nearest future, we will be able to do that. I think if Nigeria really wants to develop, they have to think about the common interest. The common interest now is for Nigerian travellers to experience better services and a better connection point. Most airlines all over the world have hubs. Unfortunately, the hub here is not very practical.”

He stressed that the operator of MMA2 is more than prepared to keep improving the facilities; to be more than just a terminal; to ensuring products and services’ visibility to customers on its website and social media platforms. “We have been collaborating with the customers and helping them promote their services on the website and social media platforms, but I think the overall goal is to deliver customer-oriented services,” he noted.

Penninck also lamented the adverse impact of the prevailing exchange rate on the company’s constant desire to innovate its operations and grow infrastructure in the terminal. According to him, the present economic situation has almost doubled the earlier investment projection on improving the cooling system and providing better CCTV coverage of the whole terminal, in consonance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s (NCAA) requirement.

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