+ Lose N4 billion
The continued suspension of Chanchangi and IRS Airlines has left their staff battling with despair and dismay. The crisis which has clocked four months, we gathered, is causing untold hardship for the hitherto gainfully employed staffers of the airlines, and Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority’s inaction regarding the airlines plight has caused the staffers and their numerous dependants untold hardship.
Sources within the airlines squealed to ENCOMIUM Weekly that the staffers’ despair is not unconnected with the fact that they have been living on families and friends as they have not been collecting salary since the unfortunate incident began in October 2013. This is due to the inability of the airlines to pay them since they are not working and moreover the companies too are running at a loss.
Information available to ENCOMIUM Weekly revealed that both airlines have lost an average of N2 billion each, which sums up to a total of N4 billion. According to our source, the airlines have been grounded for 120 days. And approximately they fly 1,000 passengers daily with an average of N20,000 airfare per head. That brings the daily revenue to an average of N20 million per airline. Thus the two airlines have lost an average of N4 billion since the ugly trend began.
On Friday, January 31, 2014, ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke to the media director of Chanchangi Airlines, Mr. Olu Balogun, and he confirmed that the airline is still under suspension.”I have equally been at home since the suspension. We have not resumed and we still don’t understand what NCAA is saying or doing about our plight.”
The aviation industry regulator, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, grounded the operations of IRS Airlines and Chanchangi Airlines following a memo signed by the Director-General of the NCAA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, ordering all scheduled airline operators whose fleet size had been reduced to only one operational aircraft to immediately stop flight operations.
The memo, which was addressed to all scheduled airline operators and dated October 14, 2013, read in part, “You will recall that recently, the NCAA, through the Director-General, expressly suspended the continued operation of airlines possessing otherwise valid Air Operators Certificate, but who were operating with a single aircraft.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority regulations provide for more than a single aircraft for any operator to secure or operate under a valid AOC.
“This directive is, therefore, issued to formalise and clarify that prior order suspending such operations. As such, all AOC holders or operators whose operational fleet has been reduced to a single operational aircraft for whatever reason shall immediately and forthwith suspend their flight operations.
“Such operations may only resume upon clearance from the NCAA that there is more than one operational aircraft for continued flight operations and satisfaction that such AOC holder has the capacity to have safe flight operations prior to commencing any such operation.”
Chanchangi Airline had only three aircraft in its fleet and two of the aircraft had gone for routine checks in Belgrade, Serbia and South Africa, respectively, while only one was operational.
– FEMI OYEWALE