Nigeria: '50b Naira spent on aircraft maintenance abroad'

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigerian government's failure to establish or encourage the private sector to set up a hanger for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul in the country is eating deep into the operational funds of local airlines, as they struggle to survive amid sundry charges, according to aviation experts.

The private BusinessDay newspaper reported Tuesday that about 50 billion naira (US$270m) is being spent annually on maintenance of aircraft abroad by the country’s 10 domestic airlines.

Dele Ore, President of Aviation Round Table (ART), a non-governmental organisation, said operational costs were stifling the country’s domestic airlines such that they could ill-afford to acquire hangars on their own.

“It is not enough to have customs duties removed on aircraft spares and acquisition, this is the core item because once you have to fly your aircraft out, not only are you going to pay for the maintenance, you are going to first take care of the crew that will fly the aircraft, the engineers that will supervise and you still pay for the normal check cost.

“So, it’s a double-headed thing for them and when they are through, you have to fly the crew back to bring the aircraft. When they drop the aircraft, they fly back as passengers and when they want to return to the maintenance country, they fly again as passenger to go and bring the aircraft.

''So, when you add all this to the cost of operation, that is added to the cost of maintenance and that makes it very prohibitive for Nigerian operators,” he added.

Among Nigerian airlines, only Arik and Aero have hangars, but the facilities can only carry out limited maintenance activities.
-0- PANA SB/SEG 13Jan2015

13 january 2015 13:30:51

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