Airliners at war over N4b bailout sharing formula

The sharing formula adopted for the distribution of N4 billion aviation bailout funds which the Federal Government gave the airlines appears to have become a source of conflict among them.  Some of the airlines complain that the sharing formula is skewed in favour of few of them.

 The complainants, who operate smaller capacity, were displeased with the ratio 70:30 adopted between the schedule and non-scheduled carriers.

 As of yesterday, the likes of Air Peace, Azman, Arik, Aero Contractors, Overland, and Dana Air had been listed as the biggest beneficiaries.

The Federal Government had, last week, shared the sum of N4 billion bailout funds among a total of 18 scheduled and non-scheduled carriers.

 The special intervention was thrown open to all airlines with a valid Air Operating Certificate (AOC) and distributed according to the size of the carrier. The parameters, however, made some ‘dead’ airlines beneficiaries of the COVID-19 stimulus package.

  One of the operators accused the executives of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) of “making themselves” the biggest beneficiaries through the choice of parameters.

It was gathered that the AON Board of Trustees (BOT) and the executive earlier had a heated argument over the sharing of N3 billion among six scheduled operators out of the N4 billion released to the carriers, while the remaining N1 billion goes to over 10 charter operators.

 The Chief Executive Officer of Skypower Express Airways, a charter operator, Capt. Mohammed Joji, however, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government, especially the minister of aviation and Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), for “bringing relief to the industry”.

Joji said the distributed sum was instrumental in offsetting salary backlog and pending insurance premiums.

“We are very grateful for the intervention. The minister and DG NCAA tried for us,” he said.

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