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FG can’t tax airlines to fund parastatals – Aero MD

The federal government cannot continue to tax airlines to fund aviation agencies, the managing director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi has said.

Sanusi also decried that the airlines are over-taxed by the government, while they also face difficulty in accessing foreign exchange.

Sanusi stated this at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos during the re-launch ceremony for Aero Contractors, which is slated for Monday next week.

The big issue: According to Sanusi, the airlines are over-taxed by the government, stressing that this has led to high mortality rates among the carriers.

He maintained that the difficult operating environment had made the nation’s airlines not declare profit in the past 30 years and called for a change of approach from the government.

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He said the players in the industry needed to come together as a team to address the challenges in the airline sub-industry in the past three decades, saying that Aero Contractors could not be isolated from such industry challenges.

  • He said: “The challenge for all airlines is finance, and Aero Contractors voluntarily suspended operations partly because of finance. So, every airline in this country is experiencing challenges with finance, foreign exchange, and multiple taxation.
  • “Every airline has had a challenge with finances for the past 30 years. I don’t think any airline has posted profit within the period. What does that tell you? It means there is something wrong, maybe the environment we operate in. Other airlines even in Africa are posting profits.
  • “Back to Aero Contractors, yes, we had a challenge of finance. Now, our cost structure, we have tried to reduce it. We also tried to look at outsourcing to reduce the cost. The four strategic business units we have will support the airline so that through that we can reduce outside spending.”

Sanusi explained that the airline would return to service with six Boeing B737 and Dash 8 (Q- 300/400) aircraft to 10 destinations, having satisfied regulatory requirements by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

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Recall that the airline suspended scheduled services on July 20, 2022, to enable it to restructure and reposition the carrier, while the NCAA waded in to audit the operations.

Sanusi added that the company now has four strategic business models in order to strengthen its operations.

Sanusi, who disclosed that Aero was starting operations with new management, said it would re-launch services to Warri, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Benin, Yola, Kano, Asaba, and Calabar.

New management: Aero Contractors is commencing operations with a new managing director/chief executive officer, Capt. Ado Sanusi, an erstwhile managing director of the airline; and a new chief finance officer, Mr. Charles Grant.

The Aero boss also disclosed that the airline plans to re-launch its regional operations by the last quarter of 2023, adding that it is also targeting a major share of the domestic market, especially at this season with the new products it plans to Unveil soon.


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