Domestic Airlines operating in the country have reiterated its commitment to safety, stressing that they can never compromise safety under any circumstance.
The operators gave the assurance yesterday in a document made available to NATIONAL ECONOMY and signed by the president of Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON), Dr. Abdulmunaf Yunusa.
In the document, the airline stated “the attention of the Airline Operators of Nigeria(AON) has been drawn to the reports in certain news media, quoting a senator, saying that as a result of the financial problems brought to the airlines by the effects of COVID-19 and, as result of lack of adequate government bailouts for the airline, that the airlines had resorted to cutting corners.
“AON wishes to state categorically here that there is no iota of truth in this statement. Nigerian airlines have not cut corners, do not cut corners and will never cut corners. We want to believe that the distinguished senator was misunderstood and quoted out of context because there is never any available fact supporting such a conclusion.
“In most of the media reports, the senator was quoted as pleading with government to stop the Customs department from re-introducing the payment of duties and VAT on the importation of commercial aircraft, commercial aircraft spares and engines noting that the reintroduction was a flagrant disobedience of the Executive Order by President Buhari granting zero duty and zero VAT on the importation of commercial aircraft, aircraft spares and aircraft engines noting that such decision by the Customs could make the airlines to start cutting corners because of their inability to clear their spares from the customs.
“It was equally reported in most media that the senator in asking that Nigerian airlines be supported with adequate bailout funding, warned that if this was not done, that some airlines may resort to cutting corners.”
AON stated categorically that in any circumstance. Nigerian airlines would never compromise safety under any circumstance.
It made it clear that If the burden of running their business becomes unbearable as a result of the Custom duties and VAT, they would rather shut down and suspend their operations rather than cut corners.