Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, has revealed plans by Aero to modernize and upgrade its Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility to go beyond maintaining the Boeing 737 classics to cater for the Next Generations (NGs) and Embraer 145 aircraft.
Aero is also planning to open a paint-shop somewhere in Northern Nigeria to commence painting of aircraft livery soon.
Captain Sanusi made these known on Tuesday when the airline made milestone as the oldest airline in Nigeria at 60years, where he also promised an offer of 60 free one way tickets for passengers.
Currently Aero Contractors is certified to handle Boeing 737 Classics but Sanusi has said Aero will continue to expand its capabilities as it is not content handling classics alone.
“The question is important, you see in any business, in fact anything in life, you are either growing or you are dying and as a maintenance organization we have to continue to grow and expand our capacity, we have to grow to be able to take on the Next Generation. We have looked at our capacity, we have looked at what we need to do to take on the NG in our maintenance facility and we will do that so we will continue to grow, continue to expand. We will not be content with doing classics, of course we intend to look at, not only the next generation, we intend to look at the Embraer the E145. ”
He however said maintenance business was all about numbers, explaining that aero started with classics because in West and Central Africa, the Boeing classics are far more and stated that it is envisioning E145 because that type of aircraft is currently on the rise in the region.
“In the business of maintenance, you have to look at the demand in the region, and of course the reason why we put our focus in the classic is because classic is being used in West and Central Africa it’s one of the most populous aircraft in the region and so we are also looking at Embraer 145s because we are seeing a lot of 145s come into the market and we are looking at being able to provide maintenance for them.”
So far, Aero Contractors is still in consultations to expand its reach in Africa and has secured certification to carry out comprehensive maintenance on aircraft from Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo and is currently in talks with other countries to consolidate its stand as a choice for maintenance in the region.
“Following intensive on-going regional consultations, our emerging leadership in aircraft maintenance, stamps Nigeria firmly into a destination of choice for comprehensive aircraft maintenance- capable countries in West and Central Africa ( like Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo ). This comes with huge multiplier economic and technical capacity deliverables not only to Aero but to our host state and the Federal government. We are also currently in talks with Mali and Cameroon for same certification.”
The Aero boss also hinted at opening another maintenance facilities, if all their plans come into fruition, up Northern Nigeria to enable them commence aircraft painting because the temperature around there is conducive for that business.
“Yes, we are thinking of opening a facility up in the North now. It’s not that we believe there are aircraft there that can support the facility but we have in our capability, painting aero planes and we understand that painting aeroplanes require certain environmental conditions.
”So to have a viable paint shop you need an environment that is dry and hot to have a good product after you finish painting. So we look at the environmental conditions it might be good in Kaduna, Sokoto might be very good and Kano can be good too. We will have agreements with our clients when you bring you aircraft for maintenance in Lagos if you want to paint it will take it to our facility where the humidity and environmental will not affect it.”