Category One status: NCAA urges Arik, others to explore business opportunities
by ODINAKA MBONU
September 30, 2014 | 12:12 am| | | Start Conversation
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has urged Arik Air and other indigenous carriers to leverage on the country’s recent retention of the Category One status to explore the immense business opportunities in the aviation industry’s value chain.
The market opportunities include the operation of routes directly to United States of America (USA), acquisition of more aircraft to meet rising demand and the recruitment of more personnel, which will in turn down the rate of employment in the country.
The Nigerian government recently retained the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category One Status, thus implying that the country’s indigenous airlines can continue operating directly to the USA.
In his reaction to the noble achievement, Benedict Adeyileka enthused that with the retention of the enviable status there is now level playing field for all the shades of investors to tap into the corresponding and emerging business opportunities that will provide a value chain for the industry.
Adeyileka who spoke at a session with journalists in Lagos, tasked Arik and other major airlines to explore the full benefit of the Category One status by operating more direct flights to the USA, as the new status now avails them a level playing ground with their contemporaries – foreign airlines.
“This is new status implies that Arik and other airlines can now take advantage of the open sky and start new routes which they have always eyed in the past such as Houston,” he said, adding that market watchers are keen on seeing Nigeria airlines rival the likes of United and Delta airline.
“The aviation industry has entered into a phase where the preceding growth in the industry should enter a crescendo with the attendant upswing in business. Our industry has once more again received a vote of confidence and a reiteration of global recognition which Nigeria had earlier received in August, 2010,” he said.
On the Authority’s effort to provide a viable platform for the airlines to benefit from the retention of the status, the NCAA boss said the Authority will provide several incentives that will aid the airlines operate profitably.
His words: “We will work with Arik both as regulator and as a partner and this partnership will involve us been more receptive to them in the course of their operations.”
He further explained that the recertification will take Lagos a step closer to attaining the much vaunted Regional hub status.
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