The Managing Director of Dana Air, Jacky Hathiramani has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his integrity, passion, resilience as well as his determination which led to his historic victory at the polls and eventual inauguration as the President, Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Hathiramani while proposing an aviation blueprint for the new administration, noted that President Buhari’s message of CHANGE resonates with the vision of Dana Air, and the yearnings of many in the aviation industry, given that Mr. President had promised to appoint technocrats to run the different aspects of the economy including the aviation sector.
He therefore expressed optimism that the President Buhari’s administration will build on positive achievements of successive governments to deliver well-designed aviation network with potential huge benefits for users, as well as for growth and investment in the wider economy. Hathiramani further emphasized that the government need to urgently build an aerospace Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility to safeguard capital flight as the absence of a functional MRO facility in Nigeria is depleting the nation’s foreign reserve given that airlines periodically take aircraft in their fleet to far flung countries for heavy maintenance.
He maintained that the government should also consider Aviation fuel hedging for the domestic airlines to help them offset any possible losses in the short term while efforts are on to revamp the refineries. While decrying the current taxes paid on tickets, he called for provision of special intervention funds as single digit interest loans for airline operators. The initiative according to him will aid availability of working capital for the airlines and improved liquidity.
He further charged the Buhari administration to review current multi designations approved for foreign carriers as most of them operate without reciprocity to different cities and instead, the government should encourage the international carriers to form alliances with the domestic operators to strengthen the sector.
It will be recalled that the airline recently called on the federal to create business-friendly aviation industry as high cost of aviation fuel, increasing interest rate, high cost of aircraft lease, high insurance cost and imposition Value Added Tax (VAT) on air transport are making the industry less attractive and lucrative.