One of Nigeria’s airline, Arik Air has reaffirmed its partnership with Lufthansa Technik, the maintenance, repair and overhaul subsidiary of Lufthansa German Airline.
Officials of the company, which is providing technical/ maintenance support to the Nigerian carrier, met with Arik officials in Lagos at the weekend.
Director, Line Maintenance Network and Technical Operations Management, Lufthansa Technik, Jurgen Hupe, at the end of a recent visit to the airline’s facilities in Lagos, said the firm majorly handles maintenance for Arik Air’s B737NG fleet, adding that they have been in partnership with the carrier.
He noted that it was their wish to continue handling maintenance work of the airline for many years to come.
“We are happy to work for Arik and would like to see Arik thrive and play a more important role in the market in the region as well as in the international market. We will do our best to be a good partner to help Arik in achieving this.”
Deputy Managing Director and Senior Vice President Operations, Arik Air, Capt. Ado Sanusi said the airline is committed to its partnership with the company, stressing that they are satisfied with the partnership with Lufthansa this far.
“They are the most experienced MRO in the world and we look out for the best. There was a bid, which Lufthansa Technik won at that time. We are very satisfied with their level of partnership. We are looking forward for a deeper partnership.”
He called for viable Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) in Africa, saying it would bring down the cost of operations.
“There is no viable aviation industry in anywhere in the world where there is no MRO facility. Yes, of course, it is very good to have a maintenance facility in the region. It would definitely bring down the cost. But again, like I have said, it is nothing like you just turn on the switch and you have an MRO.”
“It is something you have to actually plan, something you have to strategise and develop. It takes years. People have to be trained, people have to gain the experience and customers must have confidence in that kind of MRO. It is not something that we rush into; it is something that has to be studied, developed right from the grass-root all the way up.”
Hupe said long gone are the days when Lufthansa Technik’s expertise advantage stemmed solely from its support of Lufthansa´s flight operation. The company now serves about 800 customers all over the world: airlines large and small, charter carriers, operators of VIP aircraft, airlines whose aircraft have to fly under extreme climatic conditions, or whose aircraft are subject to the strain of short-haul traffic with frequent takeoffs and landings.
More and more airlines are outsourcing some or all of their fleet maintenance and overhaul to external specialists with strong technical know-how. They seek a partner with a wide range of skills that can assist them in every aspect of service and provide them with true added value – with everything they need coming from a single source, including engineering and logistics.
Meanwhile, Arik Air has sponsored the return tickets to New York for conjoined twins, Miracle and Testimony Ayeni in order for the twins to have immediate access to medical care and surgery that they require.
The airline is offering this support in partnership with Linking Hands Foundation, a non-governmental organisation which has secured free medical treatment for the twins at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.
Spokesman of the airline, Ola Adebanji said Arik would be sponsoring the twins as the airline’s own little way of not only ensuring that the Ayeni twins get needed medical treatment speedily but also to assist the family in reducing some of the financial burden associated with this trip.
The Founder of Linking Hands Foundation, Efe Farinre while thanking Arik Air for accepting to fly the twins and their family said Miracle and Testimony Ayeni were born on 16th November, 2015, at St. Patrick Hospital Enugu, to Mr Samuel Olusegun Ayeni and Mrs Mary Abiodun Ayeni, both of Kogi State, Nigeria.
The twin girls who are conjoined in the pelvic region were taken to The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu immediately after delivery.
They were moved to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) on 22nd April and have been under medical supervision.
“We are grateful to Arik Air for linking hands with us to give Miracle and Testimony Ayeni the opportunity to have individual lives. Through this invaluable support, Arik Air has given the twins a chance to live and yet again demonstrated leadership in corporate social responsibility”, said Farinre.
Arik Air’s Chief Commercial Officer, Suraj Sundaram commented: “Arik Air has been committed to the community since its inception having contributed to various charitable activities through a number of events, programs and initiatives.
“In this instance, our support will enable these twins access to specialised medical care and give them an opportunity to build a healthy and productive future they deserve.”