The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt Rabiu Yadudu has said that the agency lost substantial amount of revenue due to the COVID-19.
He stated that consequent upon the development, airports lost take-off and landing fees as well as Passenger Service Charges (PSC) which he said were the major revenue generating points of airports.
Yadudu who spoke at the Servicom Networking Meeting held in Calabar Cross Rivers state, said according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), airports revenue, globally dropped down to 90 per cent in April, 2020 and still went down by 75 per cent in August.
He explained that with the assistance of government measures and industry guidance, recovery had started with the aviation sector bringing out some guideline to ensure the health and safety of passengers, crew and other airport workers.
His words, “As this year has shown, things will not always be rosy, and it is only in unity of purpose can success be achieved. We will constantly be tested on our management and handling of critical situations within the aviation industry.”
“It is no longer news that the year 2020 has been a trying one and has tested our mettle in every aspect of our lives. We have learned to rise to this challenge and overcoming it will make the victory much sweeter”
The FAAN boss remarked that the aviation sector played a vital role in facilitating economic growth and development which provided numerous economic and social benefits.
He reiterated that some of the main economic impact of aviation arose from its ability to generate employment opportunities, wealth, effectively supporting global businesses and tourism, especially developing ones, the opportunity to facilitate trade and enable connection in the global supply chain.
According to the FAAN boss, the industry remained one of the most hit sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic with sudden drop in demand for air travel, bringing the airports to a standstill situation coupled with the air traffic reduction, low passenger booking, and travel restrictions imposed by some countries.
He charged the staff in SERVICOM department of the agency that networking event was a great milestone in the organisation’s quest for outstanding service.
“We should not forget the essence of networking which include interacting with others to exchange information and develop professionally and social contacts. Therefore, this event is a great opportunity for colleagues and friends to re-unite and seek ways to move our various organisation forward,” he added.
General Manager, Customer Service of FAAN, Mrs. Ebele Okoye lamented the impact of COVID-19 outbreak that hit the airports hard.
The situation, she said further stalled development in emerging markets with air travel falling sharply and led to cut of capacity by airlines.
She cited Airports Council International (ACI) a global trade group for the world’s airports which stated that there were well over 4,000 airports across the globe with scheduled traffic in (2016) and generated revenues of $172.2 billion.
According to Okoye, in 2017, revenue increased by 6.2 percent, adding that the airport industry had steadily expanded in recent years driven by strong growth in passenger traffic.
In 2019, total trips she noted exceeded 9 billion and increased by 3.4 percent year by year ( ACI Report 2020)
Okoye explained that she personally attached great importance to the networking as it was a valuable opportunity to openly and frankly address issues that concerns operators in SERVICOM.
“It also fosters interaction in practical terms among the MDAs in the aviation industry and SERVICOM Presidency. I believe this forum will also enables us to rub minds, exchange views on challenges affecting our work, and strengthen the spirit of teamwork in our midst. Obviously, no MDA can solve the problems of aviation. It takes the collective responsibility of all of us”.
“The drop in passenger traffic almost completely paralysed both aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues, such as landing charges for aircraft and also security charges. Consequently, a sharp fall in revenues, for FAAN which went as low as 25-30% drop of her pre-COVID-19 revenue, this amounts to N18.9 billion, following a 90 per cent decline in revenue in the first half (H1) of 2020”