Airline Alliance: Stakeholders applaud, express worry
The issues of delays and cancelation of flights may soon be a thing of the past if the recent alliance formed by six domestic airlines is anything to go by.
The airlines say, the formation of the alliance tagged, ‘Spring Alliance’ is to ensure passengers satisfaction and better travel experience.
However, some stakeholders doubt the true intentions of the airlines while others plead for time for them to prove themselves.
Since January this year, there has been delays and cancelations of flights attributed to bad weather due to the harmattan haze.
A month later, the situation became worse as scores of passengers were stranded at airport terminals.
When the National Assembly Committees on Aviation sought to know the reason for the consistent delays and cancelations, the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, came up with 16 reasons among this was, bad weather, inadequate airport facilities and air traffic control.
Today, delays and cancelation of flights are now hinged on one reason, the scarcity of aviation fuel.
Perhaps to address the previous and current situation and give no room for passengers to complain, six domestic airlines thought it wise to form an alliance as obtained in other climes called the Spring Alliance.
A member of the newly formed alliance, Mr. Allen Onyema says, the benefits were enormous as member airlines can transfer passengers if there is a problem in another airline.
“By this alliance our passengers are reprotected. For instance , if airpeace has a tech on any of their aircraft, the passengers need not to be delayed, if any members of this alliance is going to the same destination all we need to do is move the passengers over at no other further cost to the passengers”.
While describing the feat as historic, Chief Obiora Okonkwo and Captain Abdullahi Mahmoud also members of the alliance say, the idea behind it is to strengthen and ensure efficiency.
“You can see that the airline operators are fully committed to making sure that our passengers are satisfied, it will surely work in Nigeria so that the passengers going to the airport are more guaranteed that they will fly”.
While some stakeholders like Mr. Babatunde Adeniji, Ikechi Uko applauded the initiative others like Dr. Alex Nwuba say, the alliance had no solid foundation and a ploy to fix prices and prevent competition.
“This is a very sign and need to be encouraged whole-heartedly and that’s what everybody has been asking for””It remains vague, it is very difficult to understand what it is and what concerns me would be the issue of the passenger”.
For Comrade Olayinka Abioye and Mr. Femi Adeniji the alliance is built on a sandy soil that may crumble like a pack of cards if there was no midwife.
“Is the alliance an interlining agreement? If so, who is midwifing the process? Where is the foundation of this alliance? If there is an infraction who will they complain to?”. It is in order if it is approved by the NCAA, if you look deeper in this alliance, it is another way of price gauging, ganging up”.
President, Aviation Roundtable Safety Initiative, Dr. Gbenga Olowo and Captain Ibrahim Mshelia say, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA as the regulator should not be overburdened in this matter of partnership.
“NCAA does not regulate partnership, NCAA may be involved just for sanity sake hence as a witness”.”We should not continue to over burden NCAA with what does not concern them”.
In the coming days, it is expected that the Spring Alliance members would come forth to answer questions raised by the concerned stakeholders to help passengers understand the arrangements to avoid any problem when the alliance becomes operational.