Aero Contractors, said it is partnering with South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and United Kingdom firms for full usage of its recently launched Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
The facility, which could carry out C-check maintenance on Boeing 737 aircraft, the airline said was also set up to catre for airlines in the sub-region.
Capt. Ado Sanusi, the Managing Director of the airline in an interview with select journalists at the airline’s office in Lagos disclosed that the management was partnering with South Africa Technik on quality advice, inspection and manpower while it is also in partnership with A.J. Waters from United Kingdom for tooling and spare parts.
Sanusi also revealed that the company was in talks with Ethiopian Maintenance Organisation for specialised manpower, stressing that some of the local airlines had already commenced talks with the company for maintenance of their aircraft.
Sanusi also said the maintenance arm of the company had been separated from the airline company since the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), approved C-Checks on B737 classics, adding that the MRO was now generating revenue for the company.
He said: “We have a wide range of partnerships because MRO is not something you will say this is my technical partner. For us, what we have done is to identify the strength of each of the MROs that we are going to partner with. We have looked at South Africa Tehnic, which has a very good quality inspection.
“So, what we have done is that for quality advice and inspection. They have been with us here and they are the ones supervising our C-Check. Also, for specialised manpower like structure repairs that are to be done on aircraft, they would provide that.
“Then, we have looked at A.J. Waters from United Kingdom, which is very strong in tooling and spare parts. We have entered into a partnership with them and they have their office in our premises and the next step is for them to be bringing the spares here and have a local stock where we sell to customers and we can buy for our MRO use.
“Then, we have looked at Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Technic and Ethiopian Maintenance Organisation. We know that Ethiopians are very good in specialised manpower. So, we have entered into an agreement with them to support our MRO. We are also in talks with the Kenyan Airways for technical partnership. Those are the main supports that we have.”
Sanusi also lamented the high insurance premiums and leasing on aircraft by African airlines, urging the continent’s carriers to rise against such arbitrary charges.
He declared that the West intentionally imposed high premiums and charges on the continent’s carriers, attributing it to country risk and security, insisting that Africa was more secured than most European countries at the moment.
“They call it country risk, but I think it’s a way of getting money from Africa by the West. I don’t actually know what they mean by country risk. African countries will have to come together to fight this. It’s not only in insurance, even when I am leasing aircraft, they still claim country risk, later they say stability and mention security.
“From all indications, I feel safer working in Oshodi in Lagos than working in Paris, France because you can be hit by a truck and others. So, what is the security and risk they are talking about? It is better for all the African countries to come together to fight this. It is a form of trying to get as much as they can get from us because we don’t have our own.”