The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Medview Airline, Munner Bankole, has disclosed that the company would increase its fleet of aircraft to compete better in the domestic market, however, a board decision threatens to be a stumbling block.
Bankole said Medview would re-introduce three planes previously disposed from Israel, Estonia and Aero Maintenance based in Lagos State. According to him, the planes are currently undergoing maintenance Aero Maintenance.
He said the re-introduction was to enable Medview compete better domestically in a market led by Air Peace and many local airline operators. Recall that airlines have been ordering and taking delivery of planes for some months now.
Medview opted for a bank loan to revive the planes and bankroll the major maintenance to boost its operation in eight cities across Nigeria, with Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt among its routes.
“We have three classic aircraft, which are all due for C-check at the same time. One was in Israel, another was in Estonia and third was flying, but we got the money from the bank to put the second aircraft to use and so, it has been taken to Aero Maintenance base. I assure you that the third aircraft would soon be on ground because domestic operations is our major market. We promise to do more than expected,” he said.
Why this matters: The increase of fleet for operational use will create job opportunities, and Bankole disclosed that 50 cabin crew members and other ten workers will join the company when the planes commence operation. It has also been estimated that each aircraft would be yielding about N376 million in a month.
“Expect a beautiful operation when the three aircraft would be fully operational and each aircraft would be yielding about N376 million in a month. We also assure you that we will not lease aircraft, therefore, we are working with a strategic partner in order to get a new aircraft into our fleet. Fifty cabin crew members have already completed their recurrent training while 10 workers have been recalled to join the training in preparation for operations,” Bankole revealed.
Is Medview shooting itself in the foot? Meanwhile, Medview’s Board has disposed one of its aircraft because of huge maintenance cost. This, Bankole said was “for the benefit of the company.” The decision, however, comes as a surprise considering the company’s plan to increase its fleet.
Air Peace, which boosts of 27 aircraft, has grown to become one of the most sought after domestic airline operators in Nigeria in less than six years of its operation, a significant growth when compared to Medview’s years of operation which started in 2007, with just about four planesin its fleet.
The ditching of the plane contradicts the CEO’s talk of competing better, because while Medview is dropping a plane and adding three, Air Peace plans to add ten to its fleet, as it intensifies international operation.
Having a large fleet of planes comes with many advantages. It enables airline operators meet their flight schedules amidst increase in air passengers globally. It reduces the number of cancelled flights and ensures replacement when an aircraft breaks down to avoid delayed flights. It also allows airline operators to be highly competitive. Considering these facts, Medview increasing its fleet only to drop an existing one, is a bump in its competition drive.
Note: Both Medview and Air Peace are customers of Boeing.