To show its optimism for the capacity of Nigeria to overcome its present economic hardship which is taking its toll on the country’s aviation sector, DELTA Airlines has reiterated its commitment to remain in the Nigerian market.
Reacting to why the American carrier has continued to remain and do business in Nigeria while others are leaving because of the temporary economic hardship, the Delta Airlines Commercial Director, East and West Africa, Mr Bobby Bryan attributed the airline’s position to the huge potential available in Nigeria which he believed will overcome the temporary hardship.
This is just as the airline has promised its Nigerian customers greater improvements in baggage tracking as it has concluded plans to introduce Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) baggage tracking technology by 2017.
Through new baggage tracking, customers via their mobile app can know where their baggage is and have some rest of minds while on their flights.
Bryan though agreed that it has not been easy for airlines in the country to repatriate their funds, he however, thanked the Federal government for aiding them in taking back some of their funds home even as he urged government to do more to enable them repatriate the remaining trapped funds.
While attributing the success of the airline in Nigeria so far to its ability to recognise
the huge potential in the Nigerian market, also commended the resilience of the airline’s staff especially in Nigeria which he said had made the airline thrive.
“Government has done a lot in aiding us repatriate our funds and let me stress, this is not profit we are talking about; this is our operational capital and we are thankful to them for all they have done. We however want them to do more so we can get all our funds.”
On how the airline has tackled the recession, Bryan replied “One word on how we have been able to adjust, planning. Yes, we have had to adjust cutting a few flights but we are not planning on going anywhere and we will not go anywhere because in truth the past few months there have been some stability and things may start improving although our biggest challenge the forex issue has not gone anywhere, but we are hopeful.”
The airline which will be marking its ten years of flights into Nigeria next year, has so far airlifted almost one million passengers on the Nigeria/US route.
“Total number of weekly seats we offer from Lagos/-Atlanta average of 2,900 combined for both directions (1,400 each way) based on July 2017 schedule. Improvements across the business help take the stress out of travel, like implementing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) baggage tracking technology. And Delta customers now track their bag’s last scanned location on the Fly Delta mobile app. “