We have it on good authority that the management of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 are making plans to increase Passenger Service charge from N2,500 to N5000. This development will represent a one hundred per cent increment.
This increment, which has been described by industry practitioners as ‘highly insensitive by BASL’ is coming barely a week after the federal government announced respite for airlines in form of Value Added Tax (VAT) removal piling further on the airlines.
An operator who spoke to our correspondent said, “Now MMA2 has increased their passenger Service Charge (PSC) and this will affect fares negatively if after engagement it is not reviewed. These are issues one is taken off, another is springing up from foreign exchange to PSC and others.”
Our correspondent contacted MMA2 for a response but was told by the media team that it is not true as approvals have to be gotten, they promised to provide facts and figures (which as at the time of publication is yet to come). However, information flowing round is that the MMA2 management plans to take a cue from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that increased from N1, 000 to N2,000 in September 2020 plus the theory that the airlines in December increased fares charging up to N100,000 for a one-way flight while the airport operators maintained their rates.
Recall that FAAN had announced and implemented its increment in PSC in September hinging on trying to improve services but also stated that it had operated on that the N1000 does not correlate with the prevailing economic situation and the index to meet with the needs of today and future growth of passenger traffic and airport development.
Recall that in 2011, a similar PSC increase caused running battle between the Ministry and BASL when the then Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah ordered Bi-Courtney Ltd, operators of the MMA2 to reverse its N2500 charges to the former charge of N1, 000 while the terminal operator stated they have permission from the ministry to hike the PSC.
The Minister through a directive contained in a letter addressed to the Managing Director of the company and signed on her behalf by the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ms Anne N. Ene-Ita noted that: “The Federal Ministry of Aviation has not given any approval to Bi-Courtney Ltd to charge the sum of N2, 500 (two thousand five hundred naira) as Passenger Service Charge (PSC).
Continuing, the letter as at then declared that “…There is a procedure in the Concession Agreement which must be adhered to and until then, you are to desist from the collection of the Passenger Service Charge (PSC)”.