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Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul facility, Stiflings The Growth Of Nigerian Airlines – REPORT

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Failure to establish a  Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility, MRO, that can carry out comprehensive maintenance and checks on aircraft operating in the country has been identified as a major factor stifling the growth of domestic airlines in the country.

It has also been established by stakeholders that aside from aviation fuel, maintenance remains the second major cost to airlines operating in the country, stifling their growth.

However, there appears to be no end to this, as the Federal Government’s proposed MRO facility is still at negotiation stage, according to Aviation Ministry officials.

It will be recalled that the federal administration had for over two decades nursed the ambition of setting up a maintenance facility in Nigeria to position the country as aircraft repair hub in West and Central Africa, but has so far failed to muster the necessary political will to bring it about.

The only two MRO centres in the country at present, Aero Contractors and 7 Star Global Hangar Limited, lack the capacity to meet the demands of operators. The harsh business environment in the country has also not helped their efforts to expand and acquire the necessary equipment for maintenance.

Experts, who spoke with Vanguard were unanimous that domestic airlines incur heavy costs taking their aircraft overseas for maintenance, especially as they have to pay allowances to pilots who will fly the aircraft to the MROs, pay for hotel accommodation, fuelling as well as airport charges.

It was learned that some of these expenses could have been avoided, if there were maintenance facilities in the country.

Vanguard learned that of the four aircraft maintenance regimes  — A, B, C, and D-checks, only the first two can be conveniently done in the country, while for the last two stages, operators have no option but to take their planes abroad.

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