NCAA Meets With Aviation Private Sector In February
The Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt Musa Nuhu says the regulator’s meetings with aviation agencies in preparations for imminent ICOA Audit will be extended to the private sector by February 2022.
Speaking on the industry’s preparations, Nuhu said: “We are working assiduously with all the agencies and the audit is about safety audit on the oversight function of the NCAA. So, when they come, they look through our books and see if our books are meeting ICAO standards and recommended practices. Then, they go into the industry. They go NAMA, FAAN and go to any selected airlines to see whether we are actually complying with what we have in our books and we have made significant progress and there is still some work to be done but we are working on it. We hope in a couple of months, before the audit will be fully ready, we have consultative meetings all the time with NAMA and FAAN. In NCAA, we have our own internal meetings and this week, we are going to have a meeting with NAMA and NiMET on their preparations. We will have another meeting and feedback of progress before the end of the month with the agencies and in February, we will start with the industry, the private sector. We select the airlines and carry them along on our preparations.”
On conditions for reduction of airfares by an airline, Nuhu said: “It is up to the airline to do its finances and economics and determine a reduction of airfares and I believe these airlines have done their proper analyses to reduce those airfares. There are many factors. They only can explain the reasons behind their slashing of airfares.
Maybe they have excess capacity and instead of leaving that excess capacity to go to waste, they rather make some money out of it. So, there are many reasons. Airlines may slash their fares if they want to relate to a particular market segment after which they will adjust their fares accordingly.
Airline finances and economics are interesting subjects and airlines have their reasons for doing that. Many people are of the opinion that with such reduced fares, they might not be able to break even and thus, may embark on cutting corners.
It is our responsibility to ensure they comply with all our standards and regulations. I don’t think businesses will intentionally undercut themselves to the point they will not break even. I mean, let’s understand. These people have invested millions of dollars in their business. To me, it will be fool-hardy to shoot yourself in the leg by cutting your airfares to the point that you are no longer profitable or break even. So, it is the airline that can decide and knows the internal workings, efficiencies and deficiencies that can really determine and explain the reduction in airfares.
For us, if we see trends or indications of them trying to cut corners, then we will do a full economic audit of the airline to ensure they comply with that. So far, nothing. There are many indications to show an airline has issues.”