Air Peace
Allen Onyema

Nigerian Airlines Spend Millions Of Dollars On Aircraft Maintenance Abroad Due To Lack Of MROs – Onyema

1 year ago
3 mins read

Lack of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility for aircraft maintenance in Nigeria has made airlines lose millions of dollars in doing so abroad, says Chairman/CEO Air Peace, Allen Onyema.

Onyema, who is the Vice Chairman of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), lamented that lack of major maintenance facility for aircraft, among other challenges in operating environment have made it difficult for domestic airlines to survive.

The AON Vice Chairman, who spoke at a meeting organised by Aviation Round Table (ART) recently in Lagos, called on the government to create an enabling environment for private sector operators to build the facility.

“As I speak to you now, I am sure I have about eight aircraft abroad and these are costing millions of dollars. Even to ferry those planes abroad is a lot of money already. So, the Nigerian airlines is destined to fail from the beginning. You are dead on arrival because there are so many things against you,” Onyema lamented.

“You don’t have MROs that could take care of maintenance. That should have been a major priority government should have facilitated. I don’t believe in government doing business but government can provide the enabling environment for people of means to come and build the facility.

“If government sets up MRO it will fail, because government businesses fail anywhere in the world. All they need to do is to provide the enabling environment and people will build the facility,” the AON Vice Chairman said.

Speaking further on the challenges faced by domestic airlines, the Air Peace Boss said there is deficit of infrastructure at the airports, and called on the government to do the needful in improving on them.

He pointed out that Nigeria does not have a transit facility at any of its major airports which according to him, is a hindrance to connectivity, especially in international operations.

“Ideally, in passenger movement, airlines on international service can use airport with transit facility as hub where passengers are brought together and taken to other destinations, but Nigeria does not have such facility at any of its airports.

“To support Nigerian airlines to be stronger, the airport infrastructure must be improved too. Government officials said Nigerian airlines are not flying international. They compare them with Ethiopian Airlines.


READ ALSO: Foreign Airlines Won’t Last 72 Hours Operating Domestic Flights In Nigeria – Air Peace’s Allen Onyema

“The Nigerian airport does not have a transit facility. We don’t have the infrastructure for transiting. We wanted to do it, but the infrastructure at the airports does not support it. We don’t really have a facility where we can bring a large number of travellers, keep them before we fly them to their destinations.

“Immigration and Customs will tell you that they have not provided for that yet. So, why are we now blaming the airlines for not doing these things? Put everything right and see the airlines succeed. That is the only time you can really assess the airlines rightly; when you have these things working for them. So, there is nothing like transiting, we don’t have the transiting infrastructure in Nigeria,” Onyema said.

He also disclosed that AON has initiated a move with the management of Customs Service to establish aviation desk for ease of doing busines with the sector.

The initiative is to provide a platform for sensitisation of personnel of the Customs on aviation matters for better understanding of the sector, especially on the clearance of aircraft spare parts.
Onyema said the management of Customs Service has agreed to have the partnership with the airline.

He said: “For easy clearance of aircraft spare parts and other related imports by the Nigeria Customs Service, one of us, Roland Iyayi spearheaded a move that AON should work with customs so that they would have aviation desk.

“We suggested this to the leadership of Customs and they agreed. They are disposed to doing that with us, in establishing an aviation desk where some of their personnel will be trained specifically to deal with airlines.

“This is important because currently many of the officials do not understand how aviation works, like what is AOG. So, an airline’s aircraft spare parts might come and it might remain there for three weeks because they do not understand the urgency of clearing it so that the aircraft would return to work.”

Onyema explained that it has become imperative for personnel of the federal agency to have clear understanding certain critical issues about the aviation sector, adding that in other climes, once any aircraft spare part is brought in under Aircraft on Ground (AOG), Customs would quickly cleared it and allow the airline deal with the processes later.

“The aircraft is treated like a human being; it needs to fly due to the critical role it plays in the economy of any nation. But over here it is not the same thing. So, we need to expedite clearance of spare parts of aircraft from Customs. The ease of doing business should be improved. It is not only with Customs, but everywhere. This will enhance the support Nigerian airlines need to be stronger,” the AON Vice President said.



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