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Aero Contractors takes delivery of two aircraft



Aero Contractors, Nigeria’s oldest aviation company, has taken delivery of the first set of two Dash-8 (Q-400) aircraft on Thursday at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Nigerian registered aircraft owned by UMZA Air would be operated by Aero Contractors under a joint venture agreement between both parties.

The Dash 8 aircraft is one of the most fuel-efficient and modern aircraft in the market and has a capacity of 74 seats.

The Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood explained that the second aircraft arrived on Monday from Canada.

According to him, the step is one of the recovery strategies to improve operations as the airline has suspended its scheduled operations in order to carry out maintenance on all its aircraft.

Mahmood expressed optimism that the airline would resume very strong soonest for scheduled operations.

“It is a strategic business alliance that we have with the owner of the aircraft whereby they brought the aircraft and it is like a sharing formula.

“If you look at the aircraft, it is not like a wet lease because is a Nigerian registered aircraft, so it is our crew that are going to operate it. Our pilots, cabin crew are going to operate it.

“We have finished signing the agreement with them. There are five aircraft coming in and this is the first. The pilots will be going back tonight with Lufthansa to bring the second one,” he said.

The Aero boss explained further that the cost of paying the pilot, cabin crew and fuel would go to the owner of the aircraft.

“While the airline would look at the cost and from the revenue, aero will still take something out of it despite the fact that he is paying for the pilot, cabin crew, and maintenance of the aircraft.

“Also, the MRO of aero has the capability of maintaining 737 classics and the engine of Q400, so it is a good deal for him. Apart from the pilot flight, he does not need to fly out to do the maintenance. So, our engineers will fix the aircraft.

“Starting business alliance is what we are into. If you start an airline business, you may not have the financial stand, so you will look for people who are interested in aviation and willing to invest,”he said.

According to him, with five aircraft coming, Aero Contractors would have a minimum of nine aircraft.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of UZMA Aviation Service Limited,Mr  Mahammed Abubakar, owner of the craft, said that the Q400 type was purchased because of prevailing time and issue of fuel among others.

Abukakar said he was investing in the aviation sector to contribute to rescuing the sector in the country.

“We are diversifying to aviation despite the troubling situation because some people have to take the risk. So, we are taking the risk.

“This is not about benefits but what we can bring to the country. The issue of flight is no more a secret, the difficulties are there, and everybody knows what is going on.

“Some people have to come to the sector to rescue the sector and to at least bring something to the people,” he said.

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Aviation sector to benefit from RIDF



Aviation is set to be part of key economic drivers that will benefit from President Bola Tinubu’s proposed Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).

In a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, the fund targets strategic sectors like agriculture, transportation, ports,  energy, healthcare, and education along with aviation.

The initiative plans to inject funds into vital national projects to foster growth, bolster local value addition, generate jobs, and spur innovation.

Efficient use of low-interest loans and financing options will secure advantageous arrangements for project financing and operation.

The focus on aviation enhancement involves modernising major airports nationwide with targeted investments and infrastructure upgrades.

The statement reads, “On aviation enhancement, the focus is on the revitalization and modernization of major airports nationwide. Through targeted investments and infrastructure upgrades, major airports will undergo comprehensive refurbishment, including improvement in terminal facilities, runway expansions, and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies to enhance safety and operational efficiency.”

For agricultural infrastructure, the focus includes developing robust networks like storage facilities and irrigation systems.

In port revitalisation, the goal is to modernise facilities and attract investments to enhance Nigeria’s regional trade hub status.

“By modernizing port facilities and implementing advanced monitoring systems, the goal is to optimize efficiency, attract investments, and bolster Nigeria’s position as a regional trade hub,” the statement read.

Key road projects like Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road aim to enhance connectivity and stimulate economic growth.

Rail projects like Lagos-Kano and Eastern lines will modernise transportation networks for speed and reliability.

President Tinubu’s approval of the RHIDF absorbs the PIDF, expediting project delivery for Nigerians’ benefit.

Projects funded under the RHIDF will have a national spread, reflecting the commitment to equitable development.

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ICAO Aviation security audit team debriefs Nigeria, indicates strong outing



The Team Lead of ICAO Security Audit Programme, Callum Vine, announced Nigeria’s strong performance during a debrief after its Audit.

Nigeria recently concluded the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Security Audit Programme the continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA) according to a statement emanating from Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Obiageli Orah.

The USAP-CMA aims to improve aviation security compliance by analysing Member States’ performance and implementation of security standards. It focuses on Annex 17: Security Standards and Annex 9: facilitation compliance, along with associated procedures and security practices.

The event held at NCAA Headquarters saw Vine praise Nigeria’s robust policies and agencies, acknowledging their speed in addressing identified deficiencies without complaints.

He mentioned that the full audit report would be available within 60 days, followed by a 30-day period for comments.

FAAN’s Managing Director, Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku, affirmed using the audit results as a roadmap for continuous improvement.

She urged stakeholders to collaborate closely, share best practices, and uphold the highest security standards in the industry.

The debrief was attended by Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, representing the Minister, and Captain Chris Najomo, Acting Director General of NCAA.

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Arik Air receives Best Sustainable Airline Company award



Arik Air has bagged the award for  Best Sustainable Airline of the Year,  2024 by the World Quality Alliance and Quality Standards Journal.

The airline’s Public Relations and Communications Manager, Mr Adebanji Ola, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.

Ola said the award was presented to the airline at the National Quality Summit 2024 held on March 22 in Abuja.

According to Ola, the Award General Committee of the National Quality Order of Merit, said the award was meant to celebrate leadership innovations and creativity in quality management.

Ola noted that Dr Ovie Shaka, Vice Chairman, Organising Committee of the National Quality Order of Merit Awards 2024, explained that the award was aimed at identifying, recognising and rewarding companies.

“The award also aims at rewarding personalities and products that apply quality assurance culture and quality management best practices.”

He said the award was presented by Stanley Ohenhen, on behalf of the Organising Committee and received by Arik Air’s Director of Safety, Capt. Jide Bakare.

Ola quoted Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, as saying that the award is another testament of the airline’s fastidious adherence to operational safety standards.

Ilegbodu said Arik Air was committed to continual improvement of the management system and operational performance.

Recall that Arik Air also won the 2023  Best In-flight Service Airline by the Nigerian Aviation (NIGAV) Award.

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