By Chinedu Eze
Many industry stakeholders, including airline operators have over the years lamented how Nigerian carriers have failed in international flight operations.
According to industry observers, without effective interline arrangement with other international carriers that can take their passengers farther, Nigerian airlines would not only continue to perform poorly on international routes, also they would barely make profits on such ventures.
In fact, THISDAY learnt that the airlines that have operated international destinations in Nigeria recorded losses, which were moderated by revenues they were making on domestic services.
That is why there have been advice that Nigerian airlines should develop local destinations and make them profitable. This is because with over 200 million population and road transport threatened by insecurity, air transport holds great optimism for Nigerian carriers.
Travel expert and organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Ikechi Uko told THISDAY that with effective collaboration through interline and codeshare Nigerian airlines can operate profitable international service.
He said one airline cannot go it alone, which is why they need to work together and take advantage of the market in West, Central Africa and more distant destinations.
He said dollar access and exchange rate also play significant role in international flight service.
The travel expert said for airlines in the country to succeed, Nigeria has to build a hub in one or two of the major airports with transit logistics so that passengers from other countries in West and Central Africa can transit from Lagos or Abuja.
“We have to build hub and feed the hub from other countries around Nigeria. That is what Ghana is doing with fifth freedom, bringing passengers from different parts of West and Central Africa and connecting them to other international destinations.
“Interline is the best option for everybody….