…as airline airlifts over 150,000 passengers in one year
Posted by Sade Williams
Green Africa Airways (GAA), a Nigerian start-up airline, based in Lagos, has launched the ‘gFuture initiative’, as part of efforts at training and re-training Nigerian aviation professionals.
Launching the initiative on Tuesday in Lagos, managing director/ CEO of the company, Babawande Afolabi, said the airline plans to ‘use the power of aviation to create a better future in the sector’, adding that it is a deliberate plan to develop talents.
Unveiling the package of the initiative, he said in the next one decade, the company would have produced over 200 pilots, 145 flight dispatchers, 500 cabin crew, 100 engineers and about 500 other professionals for the sector.
The GAA boss, who disclosed that the airline airlifted over 150,000 passengers on 11 routes since inauguration on August 12, 2021, said part of the plans is to sponsor pilots for training on type-rating in other to help young professionals who are unable to get jobs.
‘’We plan to send four young pilots to the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in Zaria every months, we want to infuse a new generation young vibrant Africans into the system, we are very keen on this, we recognize that there is a gap and we are ready to contribute our quota to filling it, eight young officers will start in NCAT by March 9, they will be through with type-rating afterwards.
‘’There is poaching and there is shortage of professionals but the more people we train, the better for our company and the sector, the fear of poaching should not stop the vison, I have been there before, the regulator also has a role to play, above all, Nigeria has a leading role to play in Africa aviation’’, he added.
Earlier, representative of the director general of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Engr. Kayode Ajiboye, director of Airworthiness Standards, lauds the airline for the vision, urging it to employ more Nigerians and create incentives to aid retention of workforce.
‘’What you make of your resources depends on your vison, the people that will care about and be proud of Green Africa are Nigerians and not foreigners. We have this challenge in NCAA, we train people and they go, if you don’t have incentives to retain them, they will leave and you will start all over again. It is a good thing to know that we have somebody who beloves in this but it is not going to be easy but you need to provide incentives that will attract them.
‘’It was only Nigeria Airways that was doing it and right now, we have a challenge of aging workforce while we are not creating a pool of the younger professionals, therefore, to be successful in this business, you must have a high percentage of local content’’, he said.