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Government support needed for indigenous airlines to compete, says AMSL boss.




Airline Management Support Limited (AMSL) provides essential assistance to domestic airlines by facilitating the distribution of aircraft tires. Additionally, the company serves as a distributor for Eastman Turbine oil, a crucial component used in aircraft.

In a recent discussion with Charles Ayodele, the Managing Director of AMSL, Capt. David Olubadewo shed light on the various obstacles that Nigerian airlines are confronting, issues concerning spare parts, and the future prospects within the industry.

NewsNGR: The airline sub-sector in Nigeria is confronted with myriads of challenges, how do you think the government can assist the airline to grow?

David Olubadewo: It is unfortunate that there is no level playing field in the industry and the issue of foreign exchange has been a major challenge confronting the airlines in recent years.

Our government sells Nigerian-owned airlines cheaply to other countries that own airlines.

The Nigerian Government creates unnecessary competition on the routes Nigerian airlines ought to develop in the name of demand and supply.

Nigerian airlines are not valued by the government, meanwhile, we’re about the best in the world.

My advice is that the government should try to build and protect indigenous airlines.

Somebody needs to put rules and regulations on the ground to protect the airlines. That is how it is done globally.

Also, they should set up a leasing company to lease aircraft to airlines in Nigeria because we need to grow and build our airlines.

This would even be a win-win situation because it boosts both the airlines and the economy as the government gradually recoups the money it spent on the acquisition of the aircraft.

China did the same thing to become the biggest aviation market. Also, the Dubai Government supported the Emirates’ growth.

So, the Nigerian Government should support the local airlines to build them up. What is the point of foreign airlines coming here and flying to all our major local routes?

NewsNGR: Do you think Nigerian airlines are using the right machines for their various destinations?

David Olubadewo: Yes, based on a feasibility study, just that our airlines cannot really afford brand-new aircraft.

NewsNGR: How has the fluctuating forex affected the airlines’ to access spare parts?

David Olubadewo: Spare parts are issues of planning. There are certain parts that are referred to as urgent or Aircraft on Ground (AOG), those spares will come through Customs.

However, it needs following up to let them out quickly rather than creating unnecessary problems.

But, apart from that, I think the customs are not too bad in Nigeria, no matter what you may say, they are not too bad.

We go to other West African countries, we see what they do, we see what customs do in the United Kingdom (UK), because in the UK you have something called route one.

If anything goes through route one, you have to wait, you have no choice. It is waiting until it is out. But Nigerian Customs, they are not too bad.

NewsNGR: your company supplies domestic airlines spare parts, what is your patronage level?

David Olubadewo: At least about 90 per cent of all the airlines in Nigeria are our clients and we supply them regularly.

The only thing I can say is that we have spare parts for all types of aircraft.

Where we don’t have, we have the support of the manufacturer to actually back us up. But remember, this is all based on planning.

Nairmetrics: Do you think the delay in accessing spare could cause flight delays?

David Olubadewo: Yes, not only in Nigeria but everywhere in the world. It depends on what type of parts we are talking about.

If you are talking of engines, of course, if you are going to transport engines from London to Lagos, it takes time. It is a bulky item; it is not something you can carry. It is not something that will go into the AOG desk of the airline.

But these are things which need planning. So, it just depends on one, if it is just an ordinary instrument, of course within 10 hours.

It is only six and a half hours from the UK and maybe a maximum of seven hours from anywhere in Europe. And you have maybe 15 or more airlines visiting Nigeria every day.

NewsNGR: How difficult is it to access classic spare parts for aircraft?

David Olubadewo: Airlines fleet is an airline fleet. It is a decision that has to be made by the owners and those people running the airline.

So, while they are doing their feasibility studies, they would have done something about support and if that supports spares, aircraft spares support, now there are many ways of getting around that, you can either lease them, you can either have a programme, you don’t need to keep a large stock.

Because part of that is part of your profitability, it adds to it.

There is no point in keeping 100 parts you don’t need in your stock. So, it will depend on what we are talking about, but I don’t see any reason, if the money is there, why should they have any problem?

You said something about planning, but for some of the challenges that happen in Nigeria, no matter how well you plan for them, they just happen.

Take bird strike for example, an airline has almost eight and they have engines and aircraft, these are things that you don’t plan for.

And when something like that happens, you can’t just snap your fingers and these things are done immediately. How do you plan for that?

NewsNGR: Do you think it is necessary for airlines to keep a huge spare in their stores because you may not need them immediately?

David Olubadewo: We are stockists. For example, we will go into the airline’s store and we will see a small store with small tyres.

But don’t forget, they ordered those tyres from us, so we are keeping it for them. Sometimes when you go into the store, you don’t find the parts.

But the parts are actually available, they are just elsewhere. Again, we are saving them money.

Do you have a storage facility in Lagos?

David Olubadewo: Yes, we have two warehouses where we store aircraft parts. We store aircraft tyres for all the airlines.

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