United Nigeria Airlines has announced plans to purchase land from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in Enugu State to establish its Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility.
Its Chairman, Dr Obiora Okonkwo, announced the airline’s plans on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at an open session with members of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) in Lagos State.
He noted that United Nigeria Airlines has been in service for eight weeks.
Okonkwo stated that when operational, the facility would serve the airline as well as others both domestically and in the sub-regionally.
“We are in the process of acquiring land space from FAAN to set up our MRO since our base is in Enugu,” he said.
“We want to develop it in Enugu, and we have assigned ourselves 24 months to begin doing our C-Check in our facility.
“However, we are now two months behind schedule because we are in the process of acquiring the land,” he said.
The chairman stated that the airline was still in discussions with international investors and that those discussions had progressed to an advanced level.
He said that the airline was in it for the long haul, which is why it was building capacity in-house to handle A-Checks 1A-3A.
Okonkwo said it was negotiating for two additional Embraer ERJ145 aircraft to assist in its domestic consolidation efforts, as well as a larger aircraft to further improve its overall operations.
He explained the bold moves by saying the Embraer 145 for the airline was a good match, especially in terms of fuel quality, load factor.
The chairman, on the other hand, stated that the airline could consider a larger aircraft in the immediate future.
“The ERJ 145 is a decent fuel-efficient plane, and we are negotiating an additional two Embraers, which we will use to consolidate on our entire route,” he said.
“As you are aware, once that is completed, we will seek a larger aircraft. Although the Embraer is a decent fuel-efficient aircraft, we need a larger aircraft for luggage.
“We did our homework before deciding on the ERJ as our aircraft of choice, and the fuel efficiency is a massive benefit.
“It may surprise you to learn that the evening we received our Air Operators Certificate (AOC), we opened our platform, and the first flight had a full passenger load within 12 hours.”
Okonkwo reported that the airline has transported 25,000 passengers, with an average of 3,200 passengers per week, since its inception eight weeks ago.
Mr Linus Awute, the airline’s Director of Administration, commented that the company was attempting to expand organically.
Awute also stated that it did not misinterpret its previous achievements in passenger traffic as norms, which is why it did not suddenly launch more aircraft.