Posted by Transport & Business Express | 11 July 2012 | 3,182 times
The woes of Air Nigeria are deepening. This time, the foreign company that supplies spare parts to the embattled airline has terminated its contract, thus casting big doubt on the early return to the skies by Air Nigeria, the local operations of which were suspended on June 21 by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) over lean finances capable of compromising safety standard.
Luftahnsa Technik terminated its aircraft spare parts and aircraft component pool which was domiciled in Lagos for the use of Air Nigeria, according to a ThisDay story. The action came about a week after General Electric Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) withdrew its four aircraft leased to Air Nigeria.
Before the withdrawal of its services, Lufthansa Technik was the leading provider of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) support to the airline. The aircraft maintenance company was servicing the airline’s Boeing and Embraer aircraft.
“The implication of this is that when the airline, which was grounded by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) about two weeks ago, resumes operation, it would face difficulty in getting spares to service any of its aircraft on ground (AOG) as there would not be readily available aircraft parts for minor repairs,” said ThisDay. It quoted a source as disclosing that “with the withdrawal of Lufthansa Technik, the airline may not even resume operation after meeting the laid out conditions by NCAA without approved technical team. This is because they cannot carry out any maintenance of their aircraft. In the first place, NCAA will not even give them approval to start operation without maintenance engineers and they cannot in the time being put up the required engineers to have their own technical team, and where will you even get those engineers?”
Air Nigeria however denied that Lufthansa Technik has severed its services to it. Sam Ogbogoro, the airline’s head of communication, said: “Sequel to the recent reduction in our capacity following the return (repossession) of four Boeing B737-300 aircraft in our fleet, we are currently in discussions with Lufthansa Technik to rationalise aircraft spares in alignment with the current fleet size.”
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