Posted By Godwin Onyemaechi
Aero contractors of Nigeria said it has concluded plans to expand its aircraft maintenance facility at its headquarters at the Lagos Airport.
The resolve by the carrier to expand its aircraft repair centre is to meet the huge demand by indigenous and foreign carriers to fix their aircraft hitherto ferried overseas for major maintenance repairs known in aviation parlance as C- check.
Its Managing Director/Accountable Manager, Captain Abdullahi Mahmood, disclosed this in Lagos while unveiling plans by the airline to launch flight services into Bauchi, Maiduguri and Calabar.
The new routes, the Aero boss said, were carefully chosen following demand by passengers yearning for reliable and prompt flight services.
He said the airline, as part of its growth plan, was consolidating on its strategy of using aircraft just released from maintenance to match passenger demand for services in routes considered unserved.
He said : ” It is a proud moment for us in Aero Contractors, Nigeria’s oldest commercial airline, as we announce the launching of flight services into Bauchi, “The Jewel in The Savannah£ and Maiduguri “The Home of Peace” using the Boeing 737- 400 just released from C-check. We are confident the flights will serve our customers well and give them more choices and flexibility in planning their business, family and leisure trips.
“We believe that these routes will add fresh breadth to our schedule and complement the quest to rebuild our network to other cities as part of our strategy to expand. Bauchi and Maiduguri are some of the underserved cities in Northern Nigeria.
As mentioned, the Boeing 737-400 aircraft, which will be used for these new routes, has just been released from C-Check by our MRO team. We are proud of our team for their expertise and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for their professionalism and support.
“Our Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) allows us to handle total repair with a certified maintenance facility where commercial and private aircraft maintenance can be completed. The airline’s foundation is built on proven safe, reliable and on-time transportation while delivering to customers the highest standard of safety and efficient services.’
He said in the last four years, Aero aircraft maintenance facility has carried out 17 C- checks on aircraft belonging to Air Peace, Max Air, Dana Air and airlines from Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Aero boss said many carriers were finding the Aero maintenance facility attractive for their aircraft repairs because of the huge cost of ferrying aircraft overseas.
Besides, the huge cost of fueling the aircraft overseas, difficulties in securing foreign exchange, allowances for technical representatives / crew, over flights, navigational charges , challenges of securing slots and other issues are factors that would encourage airlines to fix their airplanes in – country instead of taking them abroad.
To meet up with the high demand by airlines for the Aero aircraft repair centre, Mahmood said the management has invited a construction company to take measurements to assist in expanding its hangar at the Lagos Airport to accommodate more airplanes.
Besides, he said Aero was also seeking the approval of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to certify another hangar in Abuja to boost its aircraft repair capacity.
He said the Aero facility has secured the endorsement of civil aviation authorities in Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Tunisia, Malta and Mongolia to carry out heavy maintenance checks on aircraft registered in those countries.
He said the carrier was rebuilding its fleet of aircraft to enable it cater to the needs of underserved cities.