The management of Aero Contractors has given assurance to the workers who were relieved of their duties and put on redundancy by the airline, saying that many of them would be re-absorbed.
In fact, Aero has started re-absorbing some of them, as the technical personnel among them had gone back, as the airlineâ€™s Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) session has been expanded with more jobs coming to the company.
This was disclosed by the CEO of the foremost Nigerian airline, Captain Ado Sanusi who commended the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) for sustaining the operations of the company and labour for supporting the plan to ensure the survival of the organisation and assured that as the airline increases its operating fleet it would expand its routes, it would re-absorb its ground staff and other personnel.
Sanusi said it is after the re-absorption of these workers that those who were left out would no more be on redundancy and would then be paid there severance benefits, adding that the company has already started pay off some of the staff who were not in line with the re-absorption plan.
The Aero CEO explained that in order to ensure that the oldest commercial airline survived, the management put about 60 percent of the workforce on redundancy, noting that redundancy â€œdoes not mean termination but a long leave without pay, which was a decision that has helped to stabilise the airline.â€
He also explained that it was after the workers were placed on redundancy that the airline was able to build capacity to three aircraft and upgraded its aircraft maintenance capacity to C-Check level.
â€œOur MRO is functioning well and when we saw that the MRO was successful, we recalled 120 personnel to work on the maintenance session because the demand for third party aircraft maintenance from us is rising, just as we are maintaining our Boeing B737 at C-Check level,â€ Sanusi said.
The Aero CEO said the company aims to develop the MRO to a level that it would be able to carry out line maintenance for all aircraft types operating in Nigeria and that is in addition to the present level that it carries out maintenance checks on Boeing B737 Classics to C-Check level.
He said South African Technik, A.J Walters of the United Kingdom and Ethiopian Technik have partnered the organisation in a bid to assist in developing the MRO.
Speaking to reporters at the Aero headquarters at Lagos airport on Thursday, Sanusi said the maintenance arm has been separated from the airline company since the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), approved C-Checks on B737 classics and certified the company as Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO), adding that the MRO is now generating revenue for the company.
â€œWe have a wide range of partners, we have partnered from South African Technik on quality inspection and specialised manpower, they supervise our C-Checks, we have A.J Walters of UK, they have their office here in Aero; they will be supplying spares , we have also entered into a broader agreement with Ethiopian technik; they are very good, they will support the C-Checks. We are also in talks with others because we discovered that there is no formidable MRO in West and Central Africa so we intend to develop the MRO to a level that will be able to provide line maintenance for airlines operating in Nigeria, that is why we have separated the airline from MROâ€, he said.