A new internationally licensed Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO), 7 Star Global Hangar, owned and managed by Nigerians, will commence operations in the country next week, following the granting of a full license by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority in Lagos (NCAA)
According to the Chief Executive Officer of 7 Star, Mr. Isaac Balami, the MRO is operations-ready to handle Boeing 737 Fleets, adding that 7 Star will also stock a comprehensive spare parts inventory marketplace to be made available to airlines in Nigeria and across the West and Central African region.
Balami, who decried the high cost of maintenance of aircraft by airline operators in the region, said relief has come to the aviation sector, urging operators to take advantage of the opportunity.
Former President of about Eight years standing of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) - while serving as a senior manager at Aero Contractors - Balami handed over in NAAPE and resigned in Aero to focus on the MRO.
He is of the view that with the granting of "Approved Maintenance Organisation" to operate, millions of dollars will be saved for airlines, while also greatly reducing capital "flight".
Additionally, foreign airlines local currency accounts will encourage their engagement with 7 Star Global, he said.
Working with Jordanian, American and European technical partners, Balami said maintenance will be carried out on Boeing Classic alongside new generation, private jets military/paramilitary planes and other aircraft types, over time.
In his view, a prime contributor to the failure of so many airlines over the years, has been the capital and fleet erosion, all of which can be mitigated and eliminated with licensed local maintenance support.
Noting that maintenance costs added to the continuing rise of the collapse of airlines at an alarming scale, Balami said his team is determined to apply their expertise to deliver such a facility in Nigeria to assist local African operators.
He also added that a single B737 aircraft that is grounded and awaiting maintenance has a negative impact of over $100,000 per day, to the owner /operator airline.
Balami also explained that additional significant costs savings, including navigational charges, crew salaries and expenses to local airlines would be achieved if identical services are performed in the country.
Maintenance services, Balami disclosed, will also be available in Abuja in a few short weeks from now, delivering cost reduced international class services.
"Our new Hangar in Abuja can take two Boeing 737 at the same time," Balami said.
According to the CEO, some of the experts in the organisation have worked for more than 30 years in the aviation sector, at local and international levels.
"Furthermore, our technical partners from Jordan, United States and Europe bring more than 50 years combined experience in aircraft heavy maintenance, ranging from C-D Checks to aircraft paintings amongst a broad cross-section of related services.
"Together we have determined to ensure aircraft serviceability across Africa. This MRO will create hundreds of Jobs in the next few months as well stimulate opportunities across the sector supply chain."
An international aviation expatriate from the USA, and a Founding Director of 7 Star Global Hangar - and the former use MD of American Airlines where he was in charge of more than 1000 Aircaft - and the Biggest MRO in the world, Dr. Abiodun Asekun, has described the approval of the license by NCAA as "a right step in the right direction"
He added that with the MRO he would play a major role in support of the new Nigerian National carrier to commence operations.
"Currently this is the only standalone MRO in West and Central Africa with huge potentials.
"Because there is no parking space in the air, we have put together the best brains in the aircraft maintenance, managements, engineering, modifications, fabrications, training, design and manufacturing in the ground", Asekun said.
The Accountable Manager, Mr. Ibrahim Nock also spoke on the new initiative, saying that 7 Star is coming at a time when it is truly needed in the country.
According to him, the national carrier fleet are encouraged to take advantage of "our facility, to generate jobs for the vast number of talented but jobless engineers across the country. This is also an opportunity to stretch the best aviation engineers at home and across the Diaspora- many of whom have made up their minds to return home to support the great efforts of the Aviation Minister, with the support of our president".
Abiodun described the new development as a new dawn in the Nigerian and African aviation sectors that will save the country huge amount of money and urged the government to provide enabling environment to ensure the survival of the MRO