The managing director of Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL), Mr. Rizwan Kadri has said that the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) for rehabilitation of its runway will affect the N80 million it makes monthly from its operations at the airport.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, Kadri said SAHCOL had not decided on whether it would move its equipment and personnel to Kaduna Airport which would receive traffic during the six-week closure of NAIA.
“Government is taking the right step as the repair of the Abuja Airport is long overdue. However, they have gone about it in a wrong way. The stakeholders are going to lose a lot of revenue if airlines are not going to Abuja. The stakeholders are not taking into confidence. That is why the foreign airlines are not going to Kaduna Airport.
“If we make N80 million daily from NAIA and that stops suddenly, it is going to affect us. We will need to move manpower and equipment to Kaduna. We will continue to pay them salary if they stay on in Abuja doing nothing for six weeks. We are still hanging in the balance; we are still waiting. We hope it lasts just six weeks” he said.
Commenting on the company’s performance in 2016, Kadri said the major challenge was the dollar constraint that forced some of their clients, particularly, foreign airlines, to pull out or scale down their operations.
“A chunk of our revenue is from airlines; if airlines pull out it dwindles our revenue. Emirates pulled out of Abuja route because of foreign exchange issue. United Airlines also pulled out. We did not lose airlines because of poor performance,” he said.
Nevertheless, he said 2016 was a fair year with regard to the company’s business fortunes.
Kadri expressed optimism that the current year would be better.
“We will enhance our service delivery. Airlines are coming to us,” he said.