By Chinedu Eze
Despite the present lull in oil and gas sector, providers of air services to the industry see a growing market in the near future and this has attracted Brazil – based Omni Helicopters International S.A. into Nigeria.
Omni, which is the parent of Brazil’s leading offshore aviation specialist Omin Taxi Aereo S.A. (OTA) is partnering the Nigerian firm, Omni Blu Aviation Ltd, the independent provider of aviation services in Nigeria and they have announced alliance to launch, promote and develop Omni Helicopters Nigeria, (OHN).
According to the Managing Director of Omni Blu Aviation, Captain Sunny Adegbuyi, OHN will make use of OHI’s technical expertise, access to aircraft and track record in safety and operating performance, as well as Omni Blu’s local capabilities and strong service reputation.
Adegbuyi said the joint venture crafted to meet the more demanding OGP standards in offshore aviation as well as local content requirements in Nigeria, aims to create a solid source of safe and reliable service for the Nigerian oil and gas market.
He said the strategic alliance between OHI and Omi-Blu would help requalify Nigerian offshore aviation by accessing resources that would lead to the introduction of new aircraft technologies and safety systems that would boost investments, training and formation.
This is expected to benefit the broader Nigerian aviation sector and impact the overall economy by elevating the local capabilities and promoting increased employment, professional development and sustainable competition.
Adegbuyi said: “The alliance is great news for Nigeria and a welcome development for our economy, the aviation sector and the oil and gas sectors.
“At least 70percent of the company’s workforce will be Nigerians. At the time when aviation companies are divesting and pulling out of the industry, OHI has demonstrated its faith and confidence in the aviation policy of the present administration, carefully crafted and piloted by Hadi Sirika, the Minister of State, Aviation and endorsed by the president.
“We are delighted to partner with one of the world’s best helicopter operators at a critical time for Nigerian offshore aviation. We aim to meet the rising demands of this market with unique balance of operational strengths and local content,” Adegbuyi added.
“We are excited to join forces with Omni Blu in the development of safe and reliable offshore aviation market in Nigeria. The current situation in Nigeria is similar to the environment we found in Brazil in 2006, when tightening regulations and substantially upgraded demands from oil and gas clients offered opportunities to new entrants.
“We succeeded by transferring know-how, granting access to assets and empowering local excellence. We are familiar with Nigeria, having operated there in the past, and understand the standards of oil and gas clients, having services many of these clients in Brazil already,” Rui Almeida, founder of OHI said.