NIGERIA: Dana Air Laments on the High Cost of Aircraft Maintenance Overseas

Due to the current high cost of maintenance of aircrafts overseas, Dana Air and other airline operators in Nigeria laments, revealing the disturbing effects the problem of inadequate maintenance of facility in the country is having on their daily operations.

The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Dana Air, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa, in a release made available to aviation correspondents, said that such difficulties were affecting all airlines, not only Dana Air.
He said they were taking the initiatives to build their own maintenance facility here, because their engineers have the capacity for such maintenance in Nigeria.
“The only thing affecting it is just the huge cost of taking the aircraft outside and bringing them back.
“We also work with Aero when necessary and it has been good. If we have more functional ones in Nigeria, it will help a great deal but while we are working towards this, we would continue the maintenance schedule abroad and partner Aero where necessary also”, he  said.
A source from the Air Peace, who wished to be anonymous, explained that Air Peace had several aircrafts on C-check maintenance abroad before Covid-19 and were caught up with the Covid-19 lockdown globally.
“In our own case, we had several aircrafts out on C-check maintenance abroad before Covid-19. These aircrafts were supposed to have since come back, one after the other, but because of lockdown in those countries since February, the maintenance facilities shut down too. There was no maintenance.
“The Nigerian C-check regime is driven by calendar, which implies that every aircraft has a time frame, they must go for mandatory checks, which is usually between 18 and 24 months.
“Out of 25 aircrafts in our fleet, several aircrafts were out on one maintenance or another. This is the reason for our cutting down on our frequencies and the destinations we serve.
“However, the good news is that most of the planes have started returning to the country after the maintenance and we have started returning to our old routes and opening new ones”, the source hinted.
The Tide gathered that in spite of Nigeria being aviation hub in West Africa, there are only two maintenance facilities in the country licensed by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA). They are Aero Contractors and 7 Star Global Hangar Limited, a start-up facility.
But their capacity in aircraft maintenance is limited and not comprehensive, as they can only conduct the first two stages of repairs, A and B-checks.
There is 100 per cent interrelationship between cost of airline failure and cost of maintenance overseas. Aside from aviation fuel, maintenance is the second biggest cost for Nigerian airlines and it is affecting  airlines operations badly.

Source: thetidenewsonline

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