The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (nahco aviance) says it has not lost its Ethiopian Airlines cargo handling to competition saying the company controls 80 per cent of the domestic market.
Addressing the media in Lagos, the managing director of the ground handling firm, Mr. Norbert Bielderman said the only local airline that nahco aviance does not handle is Arik and Med-View Airline.
“Nahco handles 90 per cent of international market and our market share is still growing. The only viable international airlines we do not handle is South African Airways and Etihad,” he added.
Bielderman further said nahco aviance did not lose the ground handling contract with Ethiopian Airlines to competition explaining that the airline has a global general sales service agent (GSSA) agreement with DHL.
“We did not lose Ethiopian Airlines (ET) cargo to competition. ET has GSSA agreement with DHL. What this means is that all cargoes on ET are being handled by DHL on behalf of ET Cargoes. Before now however, due to very low business volume, a competitor rented out a considerable portion of its under-utilised warehouse to DHL Cargo to its warehouse its (DHL) shipments.
“DHL has at least 60 per cent on these cargoes and therefore upon the arrival of ET aircraft, the company moves the shipments into the rented section of SAHCOL warehouse. This is what is wrongly viewed as a loss by nahco to that competitor. It is not. The agreement between DHL and the particular competitor is a global one; it is not limited to Nigeria,” he said.
On the recession and how it affects the ground handling firm, Bielderman said: “The truth is that the Nigerian economy is generally not doing very well. The current recession is not going to isolate anyone. Many Airlines are pulling out of Nigeria. A lot more airlines are reducing the number of their flights into the country. Only recently, the federal government had to come out to beg departing foreign airlines to come back. This is not the best of times for the aviation sector I in Nigeria.
“Even so, as an operator in this sector, we remain strong. We have no doubt that should there be a consolidation exercise in the sector today, nahco would be one of the very few companies that would scale through. We are that solid.”
On the recent arrest of the company’s staff for alleged involvement in drug trafficking at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the managing director said nahco said was cooperating with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
He said the company has zero tolerance for all vices and criminal tendencies and would not spare anyone found wanting in that regard.
However, he said there is no way drugs will enter the airport without the connivance of government agencies at the airport.
“The screening is such that for any shipment to be exported, the customs, the NDLEA, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) security must have screened. Even the airline’s security staff would also have conducted necessary checks.
“So, for there a breach of security that would have resulted in loading drugs into a plane, then one or two of the agencies must have been involved. To single out Nahco staff for worldwide mention therefore is tantamount to looking for a soft target,” he said.