Popular gospel singer Nathaniel Bassey, in an appreciative Instagram post, expressed his admiration and support for the Nigerian airlines that continue to defy the odds and operate amidst an extremely challenging environment.
In his words; “I just thought we should acknowledge and encourage our airlines, who despite the very harsh operating environment, manage against all odds to fly.”
With firsthand experience as a frequent flier and aviation enthusiast, Bassey acknowledged the immense efforts required to keep airlines afloat, shedding light on the misconceptions of it being a lucrative business.
“Being a very frequent flier and aviation enthusiast myself, I have a very tiny idea of what it takes to keep airlines afloat.”
Recognizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bassey added that many airlines have unfortunately ceased operations.
Additionally, the rising costs and the depreciation of the naira, coupled with difficulties in accessing foreign exchange needed to maintain aircraft abroad, have posed significant challenges for the industry.
“On the surface, it may seem like a cash cow and a money spinner, but actually far from it. Due to the very intensive capital required to finance such a business.”
However, despite these obstacles, Bassey commends the airlines for their resilience and dedication to serving the Nigerian people.
He wrote; “While we bash them for their, sometimes, epileptic services, we must also encourage when necessary. Imagine they are not there?”
Taking the opportunity to extend his appreciation, Bassey specifically mentioned a number of Nigerian airlines, including Ibom Air, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Air Peace, ValueJet, Max Air, Dana Air, United Nigeria, Azman Air, Green Africa, and Overland Airways.
He commended their efforts and encouraged his followers to tag other airlines to ensure they receive recognition as well.
Bassey concluded his message with a lighthearted remark, stating, “Note: this doesn’t mean I won’t drag you in a matured way when you misbehave ooo. God bless you all in Jesus’ name.”
Meanwhile, recall that there have been a controversy surrounding the recently rushed unveiling of a disguised Ethiopian Airline as Nigeria Air. The unveiling has been marred by a series of missteps and secrecy, causing national embarrassment and outrage.
The airline industry’s stakeholders, including the Airline Operators of Nigeria, criticized the government’s clandestine plan, viewing it as a ploy to undermine local operators and allow Ethiopian Airlines to dominate the sector.
Former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has also faced allegations of bypassing regulations and favoring foreign interests. While Sirika defended the project as private sector-driven, calls for an investigation into the failed unveiling and potential sanctions have intensified.