Industry experts have projected that by the end of 2017 only three Nigerian airlines will be operating scheduled passenger service, which means that two more airlines may stop operation after Aero Contractors.
Domestic carriers are facing hard times owing to high cost of aviation fuel and a slumping Naira because almost everything used for airline operation is imported with foreign exchange.
With high cost of overseas maintenance, depleting passenger traffic due to economic recession and high cost of spares, many Nigerian airlines may not survive the next 16 months, industry insiders have predicted.
While announcing the discontinuation of scheduled service on Wednesday, the CEO of Aero Contractors, Captain Fola Akinkuotu said: “Unfortunately, the operating environment within and outside the airline have hindered any possible progress especially in the last six months when the Naira depreciated against the dollar, thus making it impossible for the airline to achieve its operational targets.
“The impact of the external environment has been very harsh on our operational performance, hence management decision to suspend scheduled services operations indefinitely effective September 1, 2016 pending when the external opportunities and a robust sustainable and viable plan is in place for Aero Contractors to recommence its scheduled services.”