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Aircraft interior firm to save local airlines millions on repairs

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Local refurbishment of aircraft interior has been estimated to save at least $100,000 (N36 million) per aircraft as a new firm opens in Lagos.

Spread across about 50 aircraft in commercial operations, the sector may be saving $5 million (N1.8 billion) in about five years.

The new entrant into the Nigeria aviation industry, Santos Aviation, will also create employment for hundreds Nigerian youths and reduce capital flight that goes into routine maintenance.

The Chief Executive Officer of 7-Stars Global hangar, a partner in the new service, Isaac Balami, said in Lagos yesterday that the outfit would solve the problem of Nigerian aircraft owners from going abroad to have their aircraft interiors refurbished.

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“It is a huge relief. It is going to create jobs. It will increase safety and also the comfort of our passengers,” Balami said.

He noted that with 7-Stars global hangar, working together with Santos Aviation, would attract other airlines from other West Africa countries to Nigeria for patronage.

He commended the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for being supportive of the project, saying that over 50 per cent of aircraft in the country came in from the United States, where some of the staffers had earlier trained and worked.

The representative of the Director General of the NCAA, Bello Akinola, said the coming of Santos Aviation into the country’s aviation sector was a very big business for Nigerians.

Akinola disclosed that out of the 150 private jets in Nigeria about 30 were American registered.

According Akinola, jet owners always carry out their interior refurbishing in Canada, South Africa and America

“We have facility but only for maintenance. It is a good thing for us in Nigeria. It will save us a lot of money from capital flight.”

The President of Santos Aviation Limited, Segun Adesanya, said the company specialised in the provision of maintenance and interior refurbishing services to both government and privately owned aircraft.

Adesanya noted that agents and employees of Santos aviation have professional and technical licences issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States, adding that the licences gave their staff eligible to provide similar services on American made and registered aircraft.

He hinted that agents and employees of Santos had provided services on the U.S. government-owned aircraft.

“Based on our knowledge and experience in the aviation industry, it is our opinion that this sector of the Nigerian economy has a lot of potential for growth. We are aware of the recent steps taken by the Federal Government and some state governments that will boost the growth of the sector,” he said.

Adesanya added that with his staff FAA licensed, their knowledge and experience in aviation and the growth in Nigerian Aviation sector was a significant opportunity for profitable joint venture relationships for the public privately-owned Nigerian entities.

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