SAHCO – Skyway Aviation Handling Company PLC, one of Nigeria’s top groundhandling companies, wants close cooperation amongst airlines, groundhandlers, airports authorities, policy-makers, and other stakeholders in the aviation ecosystem in Nigeria for the progress of the sector.
According to Mr. Basil Agboarumi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SAHCO, who made this call recently in Lagos, “Aviation is about cooperation; we must begin to cooperate more among ourselves if we are keen to move the industry forward. Success in aviation must be across board. If aviation does not succeed on the ground, aviation cannot succeed in the air and vice-versa because where there is a weak link in any of the chains in aviation, safety is already at risk and this is unhealthy for the development of the industry.”
He states: “Airlines, airports, regulators, investigators, groundhandlers, caterers, and all other members of the aviation ecosystem must learn to work more harmoniously as every member needs the services of the other to operate successfully.”
Mr. Agboarumi emphasizes that if there is cooperation; airlines won’t under-pay groundhandlers for services already rendered. He states: “As a business-minded industry, you don’t kill one business for another to survive. This is a trend that must stop. What we have seen in this part of the world is that you provide services for airlines and when they are expected to pay for the services rendered, they default. It is important to note that the cost of groundhandling services in Nigeria has not changed despite recessions and the fluctuating economy. But we should not be denied the little that should come to us.” He therefore urges airlines to ensure prompt payment of services rendered for the continued sustenance of groundhandling companies in Nigeria.
Furthermore, Mr. Agboarumi laments that underpayment, delayed payment of services, high cost of equipment, high taxation, flight cancellations, high cost of personnel training, among others are challenges facing the groundhandling business in Nigeria. However, he stresses that “though the challenges are enormous but the importance of groundhandling in the Nigerian aviation industry cannot be over-emphasized because we render specialized services that aid the efficiency, accuracy, on-time performance and safety of flight operations.”