FAAN loses N18.9bn to COVID-19 in six months

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) lost N18.9 billion to the impact of the coronavirus disease in the first six months of the year.

The director of finance and accounts, Mrs. Nike Aboderin in her presentation at the a stakeholders’ meeting held yesterday which was attended by the minister of aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, managing director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, director general of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Capt. Musa Nuhu as wells as foreign and indigenous airline stakeholders.

Aboderin said the agency lost N17.5 billion in aeronautical charges in 23 weeks and another N1.4 billion in non-aeronautical charges from April to June, 2020.

Compared to 2019, Aboderin said only 8.7 person of FAAN’s non aeronautical revenue charges were collected from April to June 2020.

On the passenger service charge increment considering the timing, Aboderin said FAAN had not increased PSC since 2011 but that the current rate does not correlate with realities of cost related inflation (12.82 per cent-CBN inflation rate).

Until late 2019, she said FAAN was still collecting the naira equivalent of PSC at an official rate of N306.50-N 344.38 to $1 despite that airlines were collecting subsisting market rate of around N362 to $1 from passengers.

Earlier in his remarks, Yadudu stated that in spite of the drastic drop in revenue, FAAN managed to ensure that all it local airports commenced domestic operations having met the requirements set by Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, NCAA and other regulatory bodies.

He said during the lock down, the airport managers had kept the airports open and were involved in evacuation flight arrangements across the airports.

“Plans are also at advanced stage to ensure that the international airports are set for re-opening,” he added.

On the increase in PSC, Yadudu said: “We seem to be the outcast in the aviation family. I see where airlines increase their charges and no one raises an eyebrow, but when FAAN does everyone starts talking about how it affects market and business forgetting that the passenger charge is borne by passengers not the airline. Timing is relative there is no such thing as a good or bad time for this,” he said.

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