in Maintenance / Features

C-check breakthrough

Posted 12 June 2018 · Add Comment

Nigerian airline, Aero Contractors, and its stakeholders celebrated an MRO milestone for west and central Africa with the completion, in January, of a domestic C-check on a Boeing 737-500.

The work was carried out at Aero’s MRO facility at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, following certification by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) last September. Aero’s technical partner in this initiative is AJW Group.
The last time a C-check was carried out in Nigeria is believed to be about 14 years ago, before the demise of Nigerian Airways and its MRO facility.
AJW has supported Aero since July 2017, helping restructure and upgrade the airline’s MRO support services to C-check standard for Boeing 737-300/400/500 Classic aircraft. Aero also has Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) certification for maintenance on Bombardier Dash 8-300 aircraft and helicopters.
Hafsah Abdulsalam, AJW’s regional sales director for Africa, said the company has been active in Africa for almost 40 years, partnering with MRO services including Tunisair Technics and Al Algerie Technics. All its “strategic alliances” on the continent “are geared to driving down our partners’ repair costs”.
She said AJW’s longevity in Africa underlined its commitment to helping airlines grow and remain sustainable through cost control and operational efficiency. “That’s the kind of relationship we’re currently building and trying to strengthen on the continent.”
Airlines in west Africa pay an estimated $1 billion a year for ferrying their aircraft to Europe and America for scheduled maintenance.
Every C-check on B737 Classics – the workhorse of domestic operations – costs between $1.8 million and $3 million. For Nigeria alone, with a national fleet of about 30 B737 Classic aircraft, the saving from doing the work domestically could amount to as much as $90 million.
Maintenance “is done in dollars, while the airlines sell tickets in naira. This is killing the airlines,” Dr Harold Demuren, former NCAA director-general, is reported as saying. He added: “The success recorded by Aero with the establishment of this MRO and successful completion of a C-check must continue.”
Aero chief executive, Captain Ado Sanusi, told Invest Nigeria the airline plans to extend its heavy maintenance capability to B737 Next Generation (NG) aircraft.
He said an advantage to third-party airlines of in-country C-checks is the possibility of inspecting work as it progresses. “If the airlines have the capacity to supervise us, that will be good,” he said, adding: “We are already doing certain levels of maintenance for other airlines.”
Reports say Aero has applied for free trade zone status for its MRO facility to expedite turnaround.
 

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