Posted by Sade Williams
7-Star airline management has revealed plans to float a premium airline as it also plans to acquire four Embraer jets soon.
The airline currently has five helicopters in its hangars awaiting necessary clearance for operations.
The chief executive officer of 7Star Global Airline, Engr Issac Balami who revealed this in his office at the Murtala Mohammad Airport Ikeja, aid the business model of the airline will be different as it will not compete with existing ones in the country adding that it will be a premium service with target at high users but a scheduled airline.
He noted that the pandemic has provided the window for airline start up especially now that the mega foreign carriers were struggling to survive even with government palliative.
“This is the best time to start an airline because everybody is on ground zero, so when you enter, you all start afresh because most airlines are looking for money to start all over. So, it’s a level playing ground. This is the time for Nigeria to have a strong carrier because all the big airlines are struggling now .” , he said.
Meanwhile, Balami, who is also the president of Hangar owners association of Nigeria, advised airlines operators to carry out maintenance on their aircraft in the country.
He noted that the lockdown has slowed down a lot of things especially in getting parts for immediate attention for aircraft on ground (AOG) while some foreign business partners have also bowed out as a result of the pandemic.
“Covid-19 posed a lot of challenges, securing parts has been a great problems, it has been slowed down by the pandemic”
He said with the slow pace of getting spares, 7star hangar has already evolved means of getting the basic things needed on daily basis and will not wait until aircraft were totally grounded, disclosing that it has started work on its wire house
Balami, who noted that with the waivers granted on aircraft spare parts will allow airline operators to invest, blamed the current situation of lack of funds on the Forex crisis, stressing that the Central Bank hardly give out dollars to airlines.
He said the exchange rate of N470 to one dollar has greatly affected the cost of aircraft maintenance.