BEVERLY HILLS, February 16, (THEWILL) – The aviation industry may take a longer period than expected to recover from the effect of the current Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the entire world as the aviation industry continues to suffer dearth of spare parts and technical support.
THEWILL gathered that access to spare parts and technical supports are fast becoming a mirage as airline operators find it increasingly difficult to acquire spares due to effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
Chairman of 7Star Global Hangar, Engineer Issac Balami, in an interview on the impact of the pandemic on aviation, disclosed that aviation will never be the same again as most aviation technical support firms across the globe are working from home for now unlike Nigeria.
“Nigeria aviation industry is one of the luckiest in the world. This is because most engineers are still working compared to other countries where none of them is engaged.”
Balami, an engineer, noted that the shutdown has slowed down a lot of things especially in getting parts for immediate attention for aircraft on ground while some foreign business partners have also bowed out as a result of the pandemic.
“Covid-19 posed a lot of challenges, securing parts has been great problems as it has been slowed down by the pandemic.”
He said with the slow pace of getting spares, 7star hangar has already evolved means of getting the basic things needed on a daily basis and will not wait until aircraft are totally grounded hence it has started work on its wire house.
Balami noted that with the waivers granted on aircraft spare parts, it will encourage airline operators to invest in the industry.
He blamed the current situation of lack of funds to run airlines on forex scarcity, stressing that the Central Bank of Nigeria hardly gives out Dollars to airlines.
According to him, the high rate of N470 per Dollar given out by CBN has greatly affected the cost of aircraft maintenance.
He said only black markets now serve as alternative providers of Dollars for the day-to-day running of their business as the CBN was not forthcoming.
Balami, who is also the president of Hangar Owners Association of Nigeria said, in view of the pandemic and scarcity of forex, airline owners should consider doing their checks in the country so as to save resources.