Latest Breaking News In Nigeria

Uyo Aircraft Maintenance Facility as Succour to Nigerian Airlines


Uyo Aircraft Maintenance Facility as Succour to Nigerian Airlines

Uyo Aircraft Maintenance Facility as Succour to Nigerian AirlinesDuring a recent Aviation Round Table (ART) breakfast meeting in Lagos, stakeholders agreed that one of the major challenges faced by Nigerian airlines is the maintenance of their aircraft overseas. The stakeholders agreed that Nigerian carriers spend over $1.5 billion annually on aircraft maintenance.

Ferrying the aircraft overseas, allowances for the crew, foreign exchange and the delays encountered in getting a slot for maintenance, constitute another huge cost. These are the problems the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility located at the Akwa Ibom state capital, Uyo and owned by the state government is poised to solve and the project will soon go on stream.

There is something unique about the Akwa Ibom state government. It had a lofty vision to play key role in the aviation industry. It started and never wavered. From the first governor of the state who whelped the dream to the current government. They have all shared and realized the dream.

Today, Akwa Ibom state government has one of the best airlines in the country in terms of management, on-time performance and equipment. The commitment of the state government to the sector shows that it will no doubt be the aviation hub of Nigeria in no distance future.
It has functional airport facility, MRO and successful airline, a rarity. Never in the history of Nigeria has a state government shown this kind of commitment to business investment and carried it through under successive administrations. This is why the state government deserves all the commendations.
The new international smart terminal building being constructed at the Victor Attah International Airport in Akwa Ibom State is set to change the narrative of air travel in Nigeria with a focus on making passenger experience memorable.

The Chief Operating Officer, Ibom Air in an interview said the new terminal is a huge game changer to the industry and Nigeria, adding that this is the first multipurpose built terminal specifically designed to move passengers from flight to flight.

READ ALSO  NCC: How Linking NIN-SIM Will Safeguard Your Identity, Number

“You can arrive on a domestic flight and connect to an international flight and arrive from an international flight and connect to a domestic flight. You can also arrive on an international flight and connect to another international flight. You can arrive at the same terminal under the same airport experience which is world class and it all adds to the joy of travelling.

“We have a very poor airport experience that Nigerian passengers and visitors to Nigeria have experienced through our international airports over time. For this terminal, if you want to go to Johannesburg, you book a domestic flight out of Abuja and fly into Uyo to connect to Johannesburg. The airport experience you will get, will make you never want to fly out of any other airport,” Uriesi said.

He hinted that the effect of a beautiful transit point in Uyo is having a very nice and competition flight to wherever you are going to, under a very controlled environment.

“We are going to collaborate with all the security services. Any person that has anything to do with processing of passengers will be trained to make the experience through this airport a world-class experience like you find anywhere else you go to.

“By providing this service through this game-changing terminal, we expect to build this hub in West Africa that really has never been seen before,” the COO explained.

He hinted that despite the fact that Lome is a very small city in Togo, situating an airline and having a strategy similar to what Ibom Air is doing, Asky had been able to develop Lome into a huge hub.

He said last year, Asky processed about 1.2million passengers of which less than five percent were originating or terminating in Lome, observing that these passengers were all transferred passengers and the majority of them were Nigerians who had to go out of Nigeria to Lome to connect to other places. He said this is the problem Akwa Ibom State is trying to solve by making the airport in Nigeria a modern one.

READ ALSO  Trump: Mark Zuckerberg under fire, Facebook employees resign |READ FULL

Also, with an on-time performance and modern fleet, Ibom Air has set the pace for healthy competition in the industry already. Uriesi said the strategy of Ibom Air from the very beginning was hinged on being an airline that was planned to be any other competition airline.

“You have to go and compete in a very brutal environment with airlines that have hub terminals and MRO. That is the kind of story we are telling right here in Uyo. Our strategy to be able to build the world class African regional airline is our vision to provide a world class service such as passenger experience, the onboard experience of the passengers, the customer service element through buying of the ticket, the check-in, arrival, delivery of bags amongst others,” Uriesi said.

He said the whole idea of the terminal and the MRO is to build a strong airline, just like any other competitive airline in the world.

“We will develop a business plan, execute it and we believe that if we do that in a very disciplined manner under very strong corporate governance rules which we have practiced from the beginning, then there is no reason why we won’t be a successful and competitive international standard African regional airline,” he added.

THE PRESS learnt that Akwa Ibom government plans to make its MRO a major maintenance facility line people can find anywhere in the advanced world.

Akwa Ibom targets to become part of the Big Four in Africa among which are the MRO of South Africa Airways, the MRO of Ethiopian Airlines in Addis Ababa, and the facility of Egypt Air in Cairo

READ ALSO  How My Refinery Will Create Jobs, Provide Raw Materials For Manufacturers - Dangote Boasts

“The MRO is massive and can take two Boeing 747-800 standing side by side with the doors closed. In the same vein, it can take eight of our aircraft type, Airbus A220 at once and 10 of our other aircraft type, CRJ900. The MRO facility is very important for Nigeria and West Africa. It is the only facility of its type in the whole of West and Central Africa but more than that, it presents an opportunity for us to move into a different era in the industry in Nigeria because of all the facilities that it has.

“From wheels, aircraft brakes, tires and all the different shops; many of these things have not existed in Nigeria at this scale before. So, we have the opportunity to present this repair and overhaul maintenance facility to all the airlines in West and Central Africa,” Uriesi

He said through the MRO, the company intends to create a centre of excellence that would allow it to provide the services, which Nigerian carriers travel overseas to get.

“Most of our airlines go to Europe and pay millions of Euros to be able to maintain their aircraft. With this facility, we are now going to be able to provide maintenance for other airlines right here in Uyo,” Uriesi said.

He disclosed that the company is partnering with Airbus consulting.
“We have contracted them to partner with us to come and assess the facility, which by the way, they are impressed with. They will help us develop a business plan for optimal use of this facility. We want to be able to maintain our fleet which are the A220 and CRJ900 and also to advise us on which fleet best we can get the most business out of,” Uriesi said.

For Jobs, Nigeria and foreign Scholarships, Admissions CLICK HERE

Watch What's Trending!


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.