…Expand MRO for more revenues
Sade Williams in Abuja
Giant planemaker, Airbus, on Tuesday unveiled its Global Market Forecast in which it projects that airlines serving Nigeria will require nearly 160 passenger and freight aircraft by 2042.
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This was unveiled during a media briefing ahead of the 7th Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition holding at the International Convention Centre, Abuja,
Joep Ellers, airline marketing director, Airbus, who made a presentation at the briefing said the forecast includes 131 single-aisle aircraft such as the A220, A320 families, and 28 widebody aircraft such as the A330 and A350 families serving the Nigerian market in the next two decades.
‘’Aviation plays a pivotal role in driving economic development across the African continent creating jobs, facilitating domestic, intra-African and global trade and regional integration. Its significance is particularly profound in the case of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, marked by substantial landmass, a vibrant, dynamic and ever-expanding economy. The aviation industry in Nigeria possesses the potential to emerge as the connective tissue that binds together its diverse regions and fuels economic progress,” he said.
While noting that growing Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services at both local and regional levels are central to the sector’s growth, safety and longevity, the Airbus chief said expansion of MRO capabilities in the country could serve to bring in additional revenues, reduce aircraft maintenance costs and provide even further opportunities for job creation and skills development in Nigeria and the continent at large.
‘’As Nigeria and indeed Africa’s aerospace industry grows and becomes more dynamic, an increasing demand for specialised skills is creating thousands of new opportunities for young people on the continent. Already, an estimated 7.7 million direct and indirect jobs have been created by the industry in Africa. Airbus predicts that a further 17, 000 technicians, 14, 000 pilots and 23, 000 cabin crew positions will be required across Africa in the next 20 years,” he added.
Ellers further posited that regional cooperation and cross-country licensing are important in ensuring that talent is retained, while government and private sector partnerships and training academies are essential in creating a pipeline of talent for a robust and sustainable aerospace industry in Africa.
Meanwhile, in the wider African continent, Airbus also predicted that growth will drive average yearly services demand up by 4.1 percent, from $2 billion, to $7 billion.
Airbus has also predicted that 1,180 new aircraft will be needed for the continent by 2042, made up of 295 widebody and 885 single-aisle aircraft.
During this period, Airbus said the fleet in the region will transition to new generation types such as the A220, A320neo family, A330neo and A350 bringing significant efficiency improvement and a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions per passenger.
‘’Over the past 10 years, significant improvements to the industry have been made across the continent, including the creation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) as well as the modernisation of fleets by national airlines.
There are currently 265 Airbus commercial jetliners flying with 36 operators in Africa.
Today, African carriers such as Ethiopian Airlines, Ibom Air, Air Senegal, South African Airways, Air Côte d’Ivoire, EgyptAir, Uganda Airlines and Air Tanzania, have chosen to operate some of the most technologically advanced aircraft such as the A350, A330neo, A320neo and the A220.