Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, has stated that the Coronavirus pandemic poses a threat that could see over 100,000 jobs lost in the aviation sector.
Sirika noted this on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He stated that the aviation sector has been dealt a severe blow by the pandemic, noting that airlines have lost nearly N17 billion monthly since their operations were grounded, as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
“We are in very difficult moments like everyone else. All of this started because someone traveled and unfortunately came back home with it and the consequence is what we’ve been going through.
“We are the worst hit, than any other sector. Some N17 billion monthly is being lost by the airlines, thanks to COVID-19,” the minister said.
Speaking further, Sirika noted that the sector is highly regulated and very coordinated and has set standards that must be followed at all times, regardless, because it speaks to safety.
This, according to him, would mean that “we will not be able to open up after closing for several weeks and perhaps for some months”.
“There are safety issues and concerns. Those airplanes have been kept and when we are going to bring them back into service, we will have to ensure that they are airworthy and that they can make those flights safely,” he added.
“So also, for the flight crew, they have certain standards they must conform with. They have licensing issues that will fall due for recurrency to be done within this period, so what do you do with them.
“Certainly they won’t just pick up their bags and continue where they left. They must conform to those standards and ensure that they are safe to operate both in terms of their health and their proficiency to be able to conduct a very safe flight”.