Mr. Christophe Penninck, The Chief Executive Officer, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2) has expressed concern over the delay in securing regulatory approval for the commencement of international operations at the terminal.
His comments were at the occasion of the annual customers and stakeholders’ appreciation dinner of BASL held last week Friday.
Penninck expressed his frustration and disclosed that some stakeholders within the aviation industry were working at cross purposes to prevent MMA2 from securing the requisite approval for the commencement of international operations.
Penninck said; “It pains me to say thank you to such stakeholders for having us blocked from populating the international flights schedule. We have invested so much in infrastructure and other developments. Unfortunately, right now, we have been unable to continue with further development. Although we collaborate with the authorities, it would be nice for us to be able to develop even more. This venue is supposed to be the international boarding gate for MMA2. If we have the opportunity to operate international flights, it will not only benefit us, it will also benefit the airlines operating here.
“I know for a fact that Aero, Dana and Med-View airlines operate international flights to Accra. It will make operational sense to combine that arrangement with their respective domestic operations. There is a competitive advantage in operating from the same terminal where they have their local flights operations. Hopefully, in the nearest future, we will be able to do that. I think if Nigeria really wants to develop, they have to think about the common interest. The common interest now is for Nigerian travellers to experience better services and a better connection point. Most airlines all over the world have hubs. Unfortunately the hub here is not very practical.”
He also went on to point out the difficulties caused by the current foreign exchange regime; “One of the big issues we have at the moment is the cooling of the terminal. Unfortunately, the current economic situation, particularly in relation to the exchange rate, is not helping matters. We have been investing heavily in the CCTV project and our next big project is the cooling of the terminal. Sadly we cannot predict the exchange rate and the economic situation, but we are committed to improving the cooling system.”
Also corroborating the earlier submission by the keynote speaker at the event and Executive Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Captain Nogie Meggison, to the effect that “aviation is a development route for a nation”
He concluded by reiterating the company’s gratitude to all partners, tenants, airlines and other stakeholders, and charged them to always come up with valuable suggestions and advice on how best to improve on services and make way for better and rewarding collaboration