By Nicholas Ojo
ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – A multinational aircraft manufacturing company, Airbus on Tuesday stated that Nigeria must target to acquire no fewer than 160 aircraft by the year 2042.
Airbus Airline marketing director, Africa, Joel Ellers, made this known in Abuja at a media briefing, where the company unveiled its market forecast for Nigeria ahead of the 7th Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition opening at the Abuja International Conference Centre.
Joep Ellers explained that by 2042, there will be a need for 159 additional Aircraft to service Nigeria’s market. He said the number of aircraft includes 131 single-aisle aircraft such as the A220, A320 families, and 28 widebody aircraft such as the A330 and A350 families serving the Nigerian market in the next two decades.
He affirmed that the prediction is based on the country’s current growth rate, stressing that in the wider African continent, 1,180 new aircraft would be needed for the continent by 2042, made up of 295 widebody and 885 single-aisle aircraft.
He said; “Home to two of the world’s fastest-growing cities in the shape of Lagos and Abuja, airlines serving Nigeria will require nearly 160 passenger and freight aircraft by 2042, according to the
“2023 Airbus Global Market Forecast (GMF). This includes 131 single-aisle aircraft such as the A220, A320 families, and 28 widebody aircraft such as the A330 and A350 families serving the Nigerian market in the next two decades.
“Aviation plays a pivotal role in driving economic development across the African continent creating jobs, facilitating domestic, intra-African and global trade and regional integration. Its significance is particularly profound in the case of Nigeria.
“Africa’s most populous country, marked by substantial landmass, a vibrant, dynamic and ever expanding economy. The aviation industry in Nigeria possesses the potential to emerge as the connective tissue that binds together its diverse regions and fuels economic progress.
Airbus also predicts that the aviation sector growth on the continent will drive average yearly services demand up by 4.1%, from US$2 billion, to US$7 billion. Growing Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services at both local and regional level are central to the sector’s growth, safety and longevity.
“The expansion of MRO capabilities in the country could serve to bring in additional revenues, reduce aircraft maintenance costs and provide even further opportunities for job creation and skills development in Nigeria and the continent at large.
“As Nigeria and indeed Africa’s aerospace industry grows and becomes more dynamic, an increasing demand for specialised skills is creating thousands of new opportunities for young people on the continent. Already, an estimated 7.7 million direct and indirect jobs have been created by the industry in Africa. Airbus predicts that a further 17 000 technicians, 14 000 pilots and 23 000 cabin crew positions will be required across Africa in the next 20 years.
“Regional cooperation and cross-country licensing are important in ensuring that talent is retained, while government and private sector partnerships and training academies are essential in creating a pipeline of talent for a robust and sustainable aerospace industry in Africa.
“In the wider African continent, Airbus predicts that 1180 new aircraft will be needed for the continent by 2042, made up of 295 widebody and 885 single-aisle aircraft. During this period, the fleet in the region will transition to new generation types such as the A220, A320neo family, A330neo and A350 bringing significant efficiency improvement and a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions per passenger.
“Over the past 10+ years, significant improvements to the industry have been made across the continent, including the creation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) as well as the modernisation of fleets by national airlines.
“There are currently 265 Airbus commercial jetliners flying with 36 operators in Africa. Today African carriers such as Ethiopian Airlines, Ibom Air, Air Senegal, South African Airways, Air Côte d’Ivoire, EgyptAir, Uganda Airlines and Air Tanzania, have chosen to operate some of the most technologically advanced aircraft such as the A350, A330neo, A320neo and the A220,” he noted.
The aviation expert further encouraged airlines to acquire new-generation aircraft, noting that they were more energy-efficient and profitable.
According to him, 75 per cent of aircraft flying worldwide are old-generation, while only 25 per cent are the latest generation.
Ellers noted that Nigeria’s aviation sector holds a huge economic opportunity for international and domestic investors.
Nigeria had been selected to host the next Aviation Africa Summit & Exhibition, which will be held in Abuja between September 13 and 14, 2023.
A statement by Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General Civil Aviation (DCAA), said that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), in collaboration with the Times Aerospace Events would host the two days event, which is in its seventh edition.
The summit dubbed ‘Aviation Africa 2023’ is with the theme: ‘Stepping Up for Business.’