2 Months After, Airlines Await N5bn Bailout

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Almost two months after federal government approved a N5 bailout for aviation sector, operators are worried over the delay in its release, even as many airlines and allied businesses are on the brink of collapse.

government had initiated the palliative to help the industry recover from the headwinds of the -19 pandemic.

On November 2, 2020, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika disclosed that N5bn has been approved for the industry.

Airlines are to get N4bn while N1bn was for allied service providers like ground handling companies, caterers, among others.

Some operators yesterday confirmed that although the government promised to pay the money before the end of December, they were yet to be paid.

“We were told should have been paid by now but Dana Air has not seen anything so far,” said Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Dana Air, Mr Obi Mbanuzuo.

Spokesperson for Azman Air, Mr Nura Aliyu stated that the airline was yet to also get the palliative but was hopeful that would be disbursed soon.

“All I know is that is still in the process. Hopefully before January, it would be disbursed,” he said.

The ground handling operators said they are yet to access the fund.

The Managing Director of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company PLC (SAHCO), Mr Basil Agboarumi said his firm hasn’t accessed the palliative.

Mr Ikechi Uko, an aviation stakeholder said the delay in the disbursement could be dangerous.

“Why promise and then not to deliver? Delay is dangerous. The Airlines need support and they need now,” he said.