Aviation experts have called on the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority NCAA, to use policy instruments to encourage Nigeria airlines to embrace interline and codeshare for economic safety and guarantee passengers comfort.
Speaking at the virtual Aviation Roundtable Safety Initiative ART first quarterly breakfast meeting in collaboration with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority NCAA, the experts expressed the optimism that airlines would embrace the idea if it was mandatory for the renewal of their Air Operators Certificate, AOC by the NCAA.
With the theme: ‘Utilizing interline and codeshare agreements as tools for domestic airlines profitability and passenger comfort’, Aviation experts say, Nigeria airlines stand to benefit if they buy-in.
Among the benefits are increased patronage, frequencies of service by airlines, quality service delivery to passengers, access to many destinations and revenue generation.
President, Aviation Roundtable Safety Initiative, ART, Dr. Gbenga Olowo says, interline was doable if the regulatory body makes it voluntarily compulsory.
He also advocate the setting up of a clearing house to be mid-wifed by the NCAA to handle interline facilities.
“This will serve as an instrument under consumer protection for passenger comfort and protection from incessant sufferings through delays”.
An airline operator, Mr. George Uriesi emphasized that to see it through would be heaculean because of trust and commitment issues.
“How quickly does your partner recover when things go wrong and how sustainably do they do that, what is the track record of them because you have to be sure that you can rely on your partner to have the same commitment as you do”.
Representative of the international Air Transportation Association, IATA, Samson Fatoku said, good as interline and codeshare were in airlines profitability, it cannot be forced or done by Fiat but can be induced by the regulatory agency
“You can induce it, that is it can be encouraged by the regulatory agency, you cannot force someone to go into a marriage with another person”.
The Director General Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu says, the authority would assist and encourage the airlines in decisions taken for survival and profitability.
He assured that the policy and regulations would be looked into for the overall good of the airlines.
“It is not a regulatory function but I think we all agreed today that some smart regulations and some policies can induce and encourage these agreement between the airlines”.
Captain Nuhu appealed to all stakeholders including the airlines to continue to partner the NCAA, develop good corporate governance to promote air safety.
Interline and codeshare in aviation, are commercial agreement between airlines to cooperate in sharing passengers, rebook them when facing capacity problem or when facing irregular operations.