Sick airlines that are already closing shops in the country may have a reprieve as an indigenous aviation company-Onedot Aviation has come out with the first local Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) initiative in the country.
With this development by an indigenous firm, the era of overseas base maintenance on B727, B737 classic will be a thing of the past as major checks on these aircraft can be done here in Nigeria.
This disclosure was made yesterday by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Onedot Aviation’s Captain Henry Oludotun Ogunyemi.
Captain Ogunyemi said “First, putting all the airlines’ maintenance together, Nigeria will be saving $3bn annually if we patronize our own local MROs”.
“There will be reduced stress on the dollar currency and this cuts 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 and 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. So all Arline’s are free to check our services out.”
“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”, Captain Ogunyemi added.
He also said using local MROs can enable the MRO increase its capacity and train and employ more Nigerians as well.
“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 that we have now. There will be job opportunities and there will be training and retraining of engineers to keep a base of sound technical hands who hitherto flew overseas.”
Recall during the Aviation Round Table (ART) quarterly breakfast meeting, the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika stated that government does not have money to invest in an MRO but will support any local MRO that takes up the challenge.
Capt. Ogunyemi also gave props to the Minister, “Kudos to the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika and the NCAA DG, Captain Usman Mukhtar for making this local MRO happen, for taking the bull by the horn and ensuring that they go through with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of encouraging local content especially in this era where there is a plan to actually patronize home grown ideas, products and services to also strengthen the Naira against other currencies.”