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‘Local aircraft maintenance’ll save $3b yearly’: Business : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum
Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum
‘Local aircraft maintenance’ll save $3b yearly’
‘Local aircraft maintenance’ll save $3b yearly’
September 06, 2016, 03:22:08 AM
September 06, 2016
Nigeria will save $3 billion yearly, if indigenous airlines maintain their aircraft locally.
Speaking at the weekend, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Onedot Aviation, Capt. Henry Oludotun Ogunyemi, said the amount covered heavy maintenance checks on some aircraft type, including Beoing, for which the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), had given its approval.
He said Nigeria was losing huge sums to other countries because of the failure of the government and private organisations to set up such facilities.
This is coming at a time it is difficult for airlines owners to source dollars for the maintenance of aircraft abroad due to the Federal Government’s foreign exchange (Forex) policy.
Experts said airlines require over $1 million to carry out repairs known as C and D checks on their aircraft.
In an interview, Chairman of Air Peace Mr Allen Onyema said domestic carriers could save more money if there were maintenance facilities in the country. He said the huge sums spent on overseas maintenance of aircraft could not be readily recovered from ticket sales.
The Chief Executive Officer of Aerocontractors of Nigeria, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, said such aircraft maintenance facility would reduce costs for airlines.
Akinkuotu said offshore maintenance of aircraft was affecting many carriers, forcing some to abandon their aircraft at such facilities.
Vice President of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) Comrade Ilitrus Ahmadu said local maintenance of aircraft would save the industry huge sums of money.
He said investors should consider setting up aircraft maintenance facilities to reduce airlines’ operating costs for airlines.
Ogunyemi said taking aircraft overseas for maintenance for, say Boeing aircraft, was costly.
He said the prevailing economic condition should impress it on airlines to consider patronising local Maintain, Repair and Overhaul (MROs) operators that have the capacity for their type of aircrtaft.
Ogunyemi said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had approved Onedot Aviation to carry out line and maintenance checks for Beechcraft, HS-125 and Bombardier, among others.
He said such checks started since 2014, while line and maintenance checks on Boeing 737-200 and Boeing 737-300/400/500 series kicked off two months ago.
Ogunyemi said Onedot Aviation had carried out a B-Check on an Air Stream’s Boeing 737-200 cargo aircraft, which had returned to service.
He urged other domestic airlines to patronise Onedot Aviation, noting that the company had qualified engineers to carry out aircraft maintenance with state-of- the-art facilities.
Ogunyemi said Onedot could also reduce the rush for forex as it would bill the airlines in naira, adding that one of the benefits of carrying out MROs locally was that it would save airlines a lot of funds which, according to him, could lead to business expansion for such airlines.
Ogunyemi said: “First, putting all the airlines’maintenance together, Nigeria will be saving $3 billon yearly if we patronise our own local MROs. There will be reduced stress on the dollar currency and this cut across all the airlines. It is cheaper for the airlines to carry out their maintenance in the country. First and foremost, the ferry cost is saved as it takes time to ferry an aircraft to an from wherever it is done overseas.
‘’Even the ground time is saved as sometimes some aircraft stay six months and others stay a year; so, the airline will save in ground time. Saving money and ground time increases the profit of the airline. Airlines are free to check our services out.”
He continued: “With increase of profit, there can also be an increase in fleet which means increment of staff, pilots and cabin crew employing more Nigerians, creating more jobs. In fact, the ripple effect is so numerous and cannot be underscored. Assuming they are not expanding or recruiting, they will be able to pay their staff and not owe, eliminating unnecessary hardships.”
Ogunyemi also said local MROs would enable the maintenance outfit increase its capacity, train and employ more Nigerians.
His words: “We have experienced base engineers in Nigeria already that can take over from the expatriates who are already on ground with the initial know-how and technology. With the MRO there will be jobs for the teeming engineers and retraining of engineers to keep a base of sound technical hands who hitherto flew overseas. that we have now. There will be job opportunities and there will be training.”
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