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This is coming after the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), in 2011, had approved Aero as an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) for: “A” and “B” checks on Boeing Airplanes and various levels of checks on other airplanes.
Following this new development, “C” checks on Boeing by the Nigerian carrier will commence soon.
With the certification of Aero as an Aircraft Maintenance Organization (AMO), Aero intends to expand existing hangar to enable it meet the requirements of aircraft maintenance work, including third party work, service the West African sub-region market for third party maintenance work, provide employment opportunities, training and staff enhancement programmes for employees.
Speaking on the development, the Managing Director of Aero, Captain Akin George, said: "A lot has been said about carrying out “C” and “D” checks abroad. The expected savings currently anticipated from doing the checks in Nigeria are quite much.
“Nigeria has relatively high import duties on aircraft parts. Airlines typically fly their aircraft to, say, Turkey to have them serviced and relevant parts replaced. Once that aircraft flies back to Nigeria, the new parts are not subject to import duties as they are already installed on the plane. This puts any Nigerian maintenance provider in a big disadvantage against foreign players. A Nigerian maintenance provider would need to import all spares used in maintenance and thus incur the import duties that those maintaining their aircraft abroad avoid completely.
"The resolution to this issue can be either that spares imported as installed on a plane are subject to import duty, or that Nigerian maintenance businesses would get import duty relief. If we want aircraft maintenance business to develop in Nigeria, there is the need to create a level playing field between domestic and foreign operations. Right now, Nigeria is subsidising maintenance businesses abroad and as a result not allowing the business to develop in the country.”
Meanwhile, the airline is taking delivery of Boeing 737-400 and -700, including the Dash 8-Q400 new generation aircraft commencing from this month, as part of its fleet renewal programme.
The new generation aircraft are expected to assist the airline in its expansion programme, and add new destinations and offer greater customer service and comfort.
The new generation B737 aircraft is equipped with the latest navigation equipment with lower fuel burn and increased reliability making the aircraft more efficient, environmentally friendly and easier to maintain.
Aero, which is Nigeria’s oldest aviation company (52 years), and has been operating scheduled services since 2000, has consistently operated with 80% load factors over the last two years, and a completion factor of 98% for all its flights.
While saying the rotary wing of its business has remained robust despite the challenges in the sector, the airline's managing director said: "We are currently focusing on a niche market of small, medium sized oil and gas companies.”Share