The aviation industry may witness a first of its kind as Dana and Ibom Air may collaborate to interline their operations in the New Year according to Director, Maintenance, Ibom Air, Lookman Animashaun.
The airline was founded July 7, 2019, and has shown promise as it has carefully grown its operations and currently has the best On-Time Performance (OTP) in Nigeria’s aviation industry. Should the cooperation sail through, it would be a masterstroke and one that could reshape the nation’s underdeveloped aviation industry.
He said domestic airline interline would help to solve some of the problems faced by airlines and passengers. Usually, if two airlines have an interline agreement in place, they will handle the check-in and baggage for each other’s passengers. That means travelers only have to check in once for all the flights on the itinerary, and that their baggage will be transferred by the first airline to the second airline, without them having to manually collect it and drop it off again. When two airlines enter into an interline agreement, it’s the most basic form of partnership you will find.
In essence, it allows passengers to book through itineraries on multiple airlines with less hassle than booking each one separately. His words, “I know Ibom Air and Dana are coming up with a new idea this year. They need to look for more collaboration by interlining. I don’t need to go to Maiduguri if we have Max Air that goes to Maiduguri and at the end of the trip, we can reconcile and pay ourselves. Azman does not need to fly to Owerri if they can put their tickets on Dana or Arik and at the end of the month they can reconcile. With that, the industry can grow.”
“They should be thinking in that direction. We should compete on on-time departure, schedule integrity. That is what should work on to ensure passenger satisfaction is key”, he added.
Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi has equally disclosed that the sector is most likely to see some mergers aside from the entrants of new airlines. Sanusi said this was necessary to cushion the effects of coronavirus on struggling Nigerian airlines. He however lamented that the country is in recession and a very difficult time for airlines and new entrants. “In 2021, it will continue like this but I believe that there would be some new entrants and there would be some mergers and probably we will stabilize with the vaccines that are coming. The stabilization will come a little faster than you think. But the effect of COVID-19 will be here like for five or ten years but we will probably see some mergers and some entrants into the market. The prices might stabilize. The prices will go down definitely in February, March because that is when the demand will go down. The prices might stabilize around that period. If you take an overall average, the prices will still reflect the dollar-Naira conversion rate. There might still be an increase”.