The Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Obiora Okonkwo, on Monday blamed flight cancellations for the loss of revenue by players in the nation’s aviation industry.
Okonkwo, who stated this in a statement announcing the signing of a partnership agreement with Air Peace, insisted that major factors causing flight delays and outright cancellations are beyond the airlines.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) revealed recently that delay flights increased from 30,214 cases in 2017 to 36,350 cases a year later.
Air Peace recorded the highest flight delays in 2018 with 14,067 cases out of 22,055 flights while 67 flights were cancelled.
Okonkwo said: “People ought to understand that no airline operator takes delight in keeping his aircraft on ground. Operators make money when their aircraft is flying. Aircraft on ground is loss to operators. So, when delays or cancellations happen, they happen for the safety of the traveler.”
He also condemned the destruction of airlines’ properties and the assault of their employees.
“Those airline officials that were beaten up and the property destroyed were not in any way connected to factors that cause flight delays.
“Those airline officials that are assaulted are husbands, mothers, sisters, brother etc., of people. They are working for their pay and do not have any hand in reasons flights are delayed. I am happy that AON (Airline Operators of Nigeria) has condemned this development,” the United Nigeria Airlines chief added.
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