Aero begins Bauchi route , Maiduguri, others to follow

  • Mahmood laments restrictive Forex to carriers



Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero Contractors is making a huge stride and restrategising amid challenges brought about COVID-19 pandemic.

To this end, the carrier has concluded plans to launch Lagos-Bauchi route via Abuja as part of its expansion programme, just as the carrier is leveraging on its aircraft Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility in Lagos as edge over all other airlines in the country and a huge source of revenue to the airline that is at the verge of overcoming its struggles.

Managing Director/Accountable Manager of Aero, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood at a press conference on Monday at the airline’s corporate headquarters in Lagos, said the carrier would be using the Boeing 737- 400 just released from C-check, stressing, “We are confident the flights will serve our customers well and give them more choices and flexibility in planning their business, family and leisure trips.”

The airline, according to him, will fly from Abuja to Bauchi four times a week;every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, beginning Wednesday, 2 June, 2021; while the Abuja to Maiduguri flight will commence soon. You will be updated with more details.

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“Bauchi flight will depart Abuja at 09:10am, arriving Bauchi at 10:10am. The return leg will then depart Bauchi at 10:40am, and arrive Abuja at 11:40 on weekdays, while on Sunday the flight will depart Abuja for Bauchi at 09:50am, with the return flight from Bauchi at 11:20am. Passengers from Lagos can fly to Bauchi via Abuja using the 06:45 flight out of Lagos”, he added.

To him, these routes would add fresh breadth to their schedule and complement the quest to rebuild the network to other cities as part of strategy to expand, hinting that Bauchi and Maiduguri are some of the under-served cities in Northern Nigeria.

The Boeing 737-400 aircraft, which will be used for these new routes, has just been released from C-Check by our MRO team. We are proud of our team for their expertise and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for their professionalism and support.

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Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood, MD Aero Contractors

“Our Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) allows us to handle total repair with a certified maintenance facility where commercial and private aircraft maintenance can be completed. The airline’s foundation is built on proven safe, reliable and on-time transportation while delivering to customers the highest standard of safety and efficient services”.

The Aero chief further stated that it was growing its maintenance capacity to handle more airplanes on third party maintenance, noting that it had accommodated no fewer than 18 aircraft on third -party maintenance in its hangar and is expanding to enable it garner more capacity to handle more aircraft.

Speaking on airline recovery, Mahmood said he was impressed with speedy recovery of airlines in Nigeria amid prediction of gloom for the sector; a situation he noted was encouraged by Nigerians love for air travel which he said quickened recovery.

He however expressed disappointment with airlines’ difficulty to source foreign exchange which he said had led to a hike in air fares.

According to him, “We don’t source anything domestically. Whatever you want you have to buy it from outside. Airlines in Nigeria are suffering today because of lack of access to foreign exchange. That is why people are screaming, the cost of tickets is high. It is not because airlines want to increase the cost of tickets but airlines also do not want to operate at a loss. If you don’t calculate very well, then your numbers are running in the negatives. The airlines most times go to the parallel market to get their Forex”.

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Aero Contractors B737 aircraft

“That is the most disturbing part of the things airlines are going through in the country but if you talk about recovery, getting passenger numbers, I think the airlines are doing very good on that. Nigerians travel a lot, even travel for no reason  which is good for the airlines. We want them to travel”.

Wole Shadare