Airline operators, who have been flying their planes abroad for maintenance have cause to cheer, as Aerocontractors has been given approval to carry out maintenance services at its hangar in Lagos. The aircraft the facility can handle include B737-300, B737-500, and B737-500 aircraft. These models are commonly used by Nigerian Airlines. The company would also seek the assistance of the Federal Government to grant it Free Trade status to enable it operate the hangar effectively.
Implications of this
Domestic airlines that had to fly their planes abroad for maintenance, can now do so in the country. That will enable them to save foreign exchange, and shorten the downtime. Prior to this, airlines spent millions of dollars to send their aircraft abroad for maintenance. Inability to pay these charges, has often lead to the planes being seized, or the airlines shutting down their operations, as was recently witnessed with FirstNation Airways. The hangar will also provide additional revenue for Aerocontractors.
Aerocontractors was formed in 1959, but commenced operations in 1960. Aerocontractors was taken over by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON). At that time, it was wholly owned by Schreiner Airways BV, a Norwegian company. It became a Nigerian company in 1977 in anticipation of the indigenization degree of 1977.
In January 2004, Schreiner Airways was bought by CHC helicopter, which acquired a 40% holding in Aero, while 60% was held by the Ibru family. In 2010, CHC sold its interests in Aero to the Ibru family. The Asset management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) took over the airline in February 2016, when it became the majority creditor.