Low cost carrier coming

Barring any last minute hitch, a low cost carrier will grace the Nigerian skies very soon, promoters of the project Mr Alex Van Elk, has said.

 He said the new carrier would stimulate competition among domestic airlines and would crash fares on the domestic scene of the industry .

Towards this end, the promoters are mobilizing investors to secure aircraft for the operations. 
The pioneer Managing Director of Arik Air, Alex Van Elk said he is passionate about the huge potentials in Nigeria aviation industry, adding that he is poised to float a profitable low cost airline in Nigeria.

The Dutch born international aviator said he was mobilizing French investors for the business. He declined to disclose the name of the new airline for strategy reasons, saying it would be operational in the next few months.

He said: “We have made contacts with the Nigerian authorities and they are quite pleased with our plans and assured us of government’s support,” stressing that the airline would succeed because it would be devoid of the mistakes associated with most Nigerian airlines which usually lead to their early exit.

He listed such mistakes as poor accounting, acquisition of aging aircraft, lack of good reservation systems and heavy cost of overheads as well as ambitious route networks. The emerging low cost carrier he said would not venture into unprofitable routes and would be run professionally with the right caliber of staff.
He also disclosed that the airline was consulting with mega carriers in Europe, Asia and Africa for interlining arrangements, adding that the responses had been very encouraging.

Elk further said the promoters, which were comprised both Nigerian and French investors had made contacts with Air bus industrie, a French aircraft manufacturer, for lease of a brand new A319 for the take-off of the
 new airline.
He assured that the fare would be affordable, noting that there would be no in-flight refreshment.
Said he: “We will only serve water on board for an hour flight but for those who will want to have something extra they will have to buy.”

Mr Elk also said his target would be to run efficient service for the first one year locally and launch regional operations afterwards.

On whether the airline would operate intercontinental routes, he said: “We don’t have such arrangement in our plans rather we will seek code share and interline collaborations with global carriers in Asia, Europe and Africa.”


The Nation
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