In the last few months, Nigerians who do not understand how airline carry out their sales and marketing strategy in the country have been blaming the government for the exit of some foreign airlines from country.
Just weeks ago too, the Senate also expressed concern over the continuous exit of some foreign airlines in Nigeria as well as the suspension of operations by others, saying the trend will further compound the plights of troubled Nigerians.
The House therefore said it supported the move by the government to promptly intervene in the crisis bedevilling the aviation sector “with a view to saving the traveling masses from greater hardship and reduce the on-going suffering occasioned by these challenges.”
It also urged the federal government to ensure that it secures commitments from the airlines billed to benefit from government’s special intervention that they will not indiscriminately increase airfares and simultaneously ensure that ticket pricing remains competitive “within the regional market indicators.”
The Upper Chamber also advised the government to scrutinise the currency management systems and consequently save the country “from further divestments and business failures in order to save Nigerian workers and their families the implication of Nigerian businesses going offshore.”
The above mentioned was the aftermath of a motion moved by Senator Dino Melaye [Kogi West] in which he lamented what he described as emerging challenges in the aviation sector as a result of the current economic recession.
Melaye said the development had resulted in foreign airlines such as United, Iberia, Emirates and Kenyan Airlines either suspending or withdrawing their operations from the country.
According to him, the crisis had the tendency to make life more difficult for ordinary Nigerians whom he said had been grappling with the adverse effects of the current economic recession as he blamed the suspension or withdrawal of operations by the airlines on their inability to obtain forex to fund their operations.
Melaye said the implications of this development were grave on the economy especially in terms of its impact on job creation policy, investment drive and economic recovery plans.
He, however, expressed hope that the current steps being taken by the government to address the problem through its policy directives such as concession and special arrangements would save the sector from collapse.
Whilst one is no saying that government should find a lasting solution to the issue of forex, the airlines, especially international ones rushed into the country, creating many entry point without the attendant sales and marketing plans.
The aforementioned was the order of the day when government officials alone account for half of the travelling public of which the airlines never planned for.
Since the government placed restriction on foreign trips, the fortune of airlines has gone from bad to worst and but because they were used to being chased around by passengers looking for seat in all their multiple entry points to Nigeria, they became lazy as well as not being creative.
Elsewhere in the world, airlines sell their tickets with lots of incentives and persuasion which was never the case.
At a time in this country, they were even accused of price fixing and nothing was done and no one was punished.
For all I care for, if the foreign airlines cannot provide marketing budget for their local staff, be creative and innovate, they can all pack and go away.
They all came into country with government officials as their target and never have a second plan.