Aviation: “We shall consolidate from Enugu and expand beyond Nigeria to West Africa-“ Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, Chairman United Nigeria Airlines

15
Feb

Having successfully kick started its domestic operations in the aviation sector with an inaugural flight from Lagos to Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu, its hub, United Nigeria Airlines, says it will soon consolidate its operations with route expansion across Nigerian cities.

The Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines, Dr. Obiorah Okonkwo in an interview with the media said the airlines hopes to expand its operations also the other West African countries.

According to him, the airline was established to meet the growing demand in the sector which is grossly underserved.

We want to know what motivated you to establish an airline?
Well, we can see that there is a gap in this industry and we have not made any mistake to make Enugu aviation hub. Enugu state government will give us encouragement. We have been driven by service; service in to the industry; service to mankind.

What are your short and long term plans for the airlines?
Our short term is to consolidate. You can see we have a base in Enugu. And we have to consolidate, establish all our routes and then work about expanding. We want to expand beyond Nigeria, starting from the West Coast; just for a start. We have a big plan.

Knowing how murky Nigerian politics is, don’t you think it will hurt your business?
I wonder why? There should be difference between politics and business.

Will you be able to insulate your business from politics?
There are a lot of people who have been in business and they do politics, so I don’t see that as a problem.

What is your projected growth in air traffic now that insecurity has made land transport largely unsafe?
The market is huge; there is need for a lot of aircraft. It might surprise you to know that we have full load in all the routes we have operated this morning. Today is the first day of our service so that is good and it shows what will happen

How prepared are you for competition?
Well, we are in. I guess those who are in the business should be competing with us first. We should be the people they should be worried about because we are new. We think that within the next three months we shall be able to expand our routes.