Fed Govt Releases N5bn Aviation Bailout
After about two months of waiting, the federal government has finally released the N5 billion for the aviation industry. While N4bn went to airlines, N1bn was given to other allied service providers like the ground handling firms, caterers, and other small businesses in the aviation value chain.
The federal government had announced the bailout to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on operators as their businesses were shut down for over months due to the outbreak of the pandemic.
Our correspondent learnt that while scheduled carriers got 75 per cent of the fund, the non-scheduled carriers like charter and cargo operators received 25 per cent of the money. Similarly, state-backed airlines were reportedly excluded from the bailout thereby causing bad blood within the system.
There are nine scheduled carriers and 24 non-scheduled airlines. They include Air Peace, Azman, Max Air, Dana, Aero, Arik, Med-View, Ibom Air and Overland.
It was not clear how much each of the airlines got but it was learnt that each airline benefitted based on the number of employees on its payroll.
Chief Operating Officer of Dana Air, Mr. Obi Mbanuzuo confirmed that the airline had got its share of the palliative but he did not state how much it got.
The Managing Director of Skyway Aviation Handling Company PLC (SAHCO), Mr. Basil Agboarumi, said the ground handling firms and other small businesses in the sector have also got the palliative though he was silent on how much his firm got.