Omotoba condemns promotional airfare by airlines

Minister of Aviation Babatunde Omotoba has condemned the just-concluded promotional fare advertised by some domestic airlines on some routes in the country, saying he does not understand the idea behind it.

He questioned the essence of the promotional fares while speaking with newsmen, minutes after attending the concluding part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) two-week training organized for the personnel of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in Lagos.

According to Omotoba, “I have listened carefully to some of these airlines advertising N5,000 to Abuja as promotional fare and I just said to myself, ‘this not supposed to be happening in this industry.'”

He continued: “I do not know the rational behind the promotional fare. I would rather support N20,000 from Lagos to Abuja, where operation takes everything after recovering all the cost of operation.”

He contended that even if the price of aviation fuel comes down, he does not see the price of the tickets coming down.

Daily Independent recalls that Aero Contractors airlines and Dana airlines recently introduced N7,000 and N5,000 as promotional fares for passengers.

Meanwhile, the minister has stated that the NCAA would sanction any pilot that refuses to go for a weather briefing before embarking on any flight operation, just as he said the Nigerian Meteorolgical Agency (NIMET) has gone a step further towards making Nigerian airspace safer by the newly-commissioned Automated Data Transfer and Archiving System (E MET).

The project, the minister said, would not have come at a better time than now, adding that it came at a time when the Federal Government was looking for a way to reduce air incident and accidents.

He told NIMET to ensure that the system is extended to all the 22 airports in the country and that the agency must ensure that the engineers that would be in charge of the automated data transfer are well trained.

Omotoba said the system would further enable airline operators to make better flight plans.