The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, has foreseen a merger of airlines in the aviation sector due to the current crisis that has engulfed the sector.

He made this statement while assessing the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry during an NTA programme on Saturday evening.

He said, “The COVID-19 pandemic exaggerated a bad situation; some airlines may not survive but the industry will come back better. It has always gone through crisis but has come out stronger. The Airlines Operators of Nigeria are coming together to see what they can do to help the situation and they met with me. The industry will be different altogether.

“I am sure a lot of them will see changes in their model. I won’t be surprised there would be merger activities around airlines to reduce cost and survive.”

Reacting to the increase in airfares, he stressed that airlines were in financial distress and required bailouts.

He said, “The airlines carry their maintenance out of the country and it is done in foreign exchange. They need to raise enough money to service the aircraft.

“The airlines have to find a source of raising more naira. Passenger load has decreased during the pandemic. That is why they have been significant increase airfares, they are trying their best and by the time the bailout kicks in, things will be better.”

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