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Airbus, Nigerian airlines hold talks on plane supply

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Airbus, Nigerian airlines hold talks on plane supply

Aircraft maker, Airbus, yesterday said it is holding several discussions with airline operators in Nigeria on sale of its jets in a deal that could gulp several millions of dollars.
The disclosure was made in Toulouse, France, venue of the ongoing Airbus Innovation Days by Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer, Christian Scherer.

Although, Scherer did not disclose the full details of the discussion and the worth of the deal which he said was a trade secret, there are indications that the deal could be more than $600 million, depending on the quantity.

For instance, the A320 airplane goes for $118 million; A318 costs $77.4 million and the A319 purchase price is $92.3 million.

Scherer admitted that Nigeria is a significant market of opportunity, adding that his firm has been having discussions in Nigeria with clients which are the airlines.

His words: “Nigeria is a significant market of opportunities. We have had several discussions in Nigeria for A320, A220 and other family of Airbus aircraft.

“We are focusing on Nigeria on single aisle airplanes. I won’t divulge some trade secret to you. All I can tell you is that we are making inroad into Africa and Nigeria.”

Over time, Airbus had seen a sharp reduction in the use of its airplanes in the country, particularly after the liquidation of Nigeria Airways in 2003 and the self-inflicted crisis of Arik Air that led to take-over of the airline by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over N500 billion debts the company was enmeshed in.

During the period it was a dominant carrier, Nigeria Airways operated a mixture of Boeing and Airbus planes. Among the Airbus planes it operated were the A300B and A310.

On the other hand, Arik, which came with a lot of promise, flew the wide-body A340-500 and the A330. One of the A340s is parked on the apron of the Lagos airport since over three years.

Just recently, FirsNation Airways operated two A319 planes until it had problems. The two aircraft are on the apron of the Murtala Muhammed Airport2 (MMA2).

Virtually all the operators in the country operate the Boeing airplanes. It is aircraft type that is very popular among the operators.
While Nigerian airlines are slow at aircraft mix, Airbus, New Telegraph learnt, is supplying aircraft to Air Cote d’Ivoire, RwandAir, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and others.

A source told our correspondent under condition of anonymity that the new interest in Nigeria could be as a result of reported pledge of Nigeria startup airline, Green Africa Airways, to buy up to 100 737 Boeing MAX 8 aircraft in the largest commitment that carries a total list-price of $11.7 billion, as announced by aircraft manufacturer, Boeing Company recently.

Founded in 2016 with its headquarters in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria and the largest city in Africa, Green Africa Airways has received its Air Transport License from the Nigerian government.

 

Its management includes a group of senior industry leaders led by Tom Horton, former chairman and CEO of American Airlines, William Shaw, founder and former CEO of VivaColombia, and Virasb Vahidi, former CCO of American Airlines.

 

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