Managing Director, Med View Airlines, Mr. Munir Bankole, has called on the Federal Government to intervene in the scarcity and high cost of aviation fuel in Nigeria which is arguably the highest in any country that is in peace in the world.
Bankole, who made the call in Lagos when he took delivery of an additional Boeing 737-500 series aircraft with registration No. 5N-BQM from France, remarked that the paucity of aviation fuel and the attendant high cost is the major challenge airline operators grapple.
He said the high cost of fuel influences air fares which is said to be on the high side and thus reduce the number of Nigerians who travel by air.
Bankole also noted that the problem of inadequate and high cost of aviation fuel has reached a national issue. He therefore, called on the government to help domestic airlines in the country by giving the major fuel suppliers some window that would make the products easily accessible and available to airlines operators in the country.
“For us, operating an airline is a national assignment, so you will help me tell President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Petroleum about this problem. It is a national issue, so we don’t want to talk as MedView, we want to talk in general with other operators. It affects not only MedView Airlines, it affects other operators because we need the government to come to our aid so that government can give those major fuel suppliers some window to get full accessibility of the product because it is very difficult to find outside.”
Speaking on the airline’s operations in the domestic market, Bankole said the airline has flown over two hundred and fifty passengers within nine months since it started flight operations in the country. He added that the acquisition of the aircraft was paramount to the airline as it would further service the new routes that the airline was expanding to.
He stressed that because of the rapid growth of passengers patronising the airline, enough aircraft were needed to meet the demands of the passengers as well as make air travel a memorable and seamless experience to the generality of the Nigerians flying publics.
“We are going to expand to Port-Harcourt and Abuja. We are also expanding to Enugu. For our domestic operations, the traffic load has been very heavy. I want to say categorically, we move close to 1,300, 1,400 passengers on daily bases. So on our traffic monthly, we have been between 30,000 and 35,000 passengers monthly”
“As at December, multiply 30,000 times eight that is 240,000 plus your 30,000, 270,000 till date because your December is last year and I give you January to August plus additional 30,000 per month, it gives you a run up of 240, so we have carried over 250,000 passengers” he said.
The MD of MedView Airlines added that an additional Boeing 737-800 series aircraft will soon be coming in to further enhance its regional and international operations, stressing that the airline has already been given several frequencies of different international destinations across the world.
Information from This Day was used in this report.