Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), has called on the Federal Government not to give free tickets to politicians and government officials that would patronise the services of the new national carrier.
Runsewe, in an interview with journalists on Sunday in Abuja, said anybody that would patronise the national carrier should be made to pay the complete air fare.
He added that it should not be business as usual, stressing that the former national carrier, Nigerian Airways, failed because of free tickets to government officials and other unprofessional business practices.
“I am appealing that there should be no free tickets; everybody should pay and get the right services like it is being done all over the world.
“What killed Nigeria Airways was the patronage of the “who is who’’ in the system; but the body language of the minister has shown that the new national career is going to be strictly for business.
“If the national career, ‘Nigerian Air’ begins operation, it will definitely increase our GDP; I pray it comes to stay in December and this time, there will be no free tickets,’’ Runsewe stressed.
On insecurity, the NCAC boss said that there was no anywhere in the world that had a perfect security system, adding that we should focus on our safety zones to promote our tourism products.
“However, we must have a brand and that brand is culture; I am changing the narratives of that sector; every cultural product has a life span for it to be rebranded; so after two years, we know what to do to rebrand it’’.
The Federal Government on Wednesday unveiled the branding and livery for the new national carrier, Nigeria Air, at a news conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Aviation in Abuja, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who unveiled the carrier, said that for a start, the airline would operate 40 domestic, regional and sub-regional routes, as well as 41 international destinations.
He added that the airline would operate on a Public-Private Partnership model, while investors and strategic partners would decide who would run it.