- Nigerian Airlines Spend N50bn Annually on Aircraft Maintenance Overseas
The low value of the naira has increased the cost of overseas aircraft maintenance to over N50 billion annually, Nigerian airline operators have said.
They noted that the cost would have been higher if many of the airlines did not shut down their operations in the last five years. There are relatively fewer operating aircraft as the number of aircraft on maintenance has decreased by about 35 percent.
Senior official and engineer in Aero Contractors, James Ominyi recently told THISDAY that aircraft maintenance on C-check could cost between $600,000 to $1 million and there are other associated costs, including cost of ferrying the aircraft, pilot’s allowances and accommodation and loss of revenues when an aircraft taken overseas stays longer than necessary waiting for slot at the maintenance facility.
“You need to seek the over flight permit of the country. And then, depending on the distance, you have to pay for fuel. But I know it will not be less than $50, 000. You also will have to pay for landing and fueling, which is called technical stop, Ominyi said.
He explained that generally, MROs could charge $600, 000 for C-check, depending on the scope of work, but noted that at the end of the day, the airline may end up paying up to a one million dollars or more because there could be findings that would be beyond what was captured in the agreement in the C-Check and then the airline would have to pay for it.
“When they open the engine and they open the side wall panels they may see cracks that are beyond what is agreed on, which they have to rectify and this will be at extra cost. I have seen a C-Check that had cost up to a million pounds in UK. That is possible because the moment they open up the aircraft, they will see so many things that ought to be done that was not tracked before,” Ominyi explained.
The cost of aircraft maintenance would have reduced by at least 30 percent if Nigeria has maintenance facility in the country, but the crash of the naira has upped the cost of maintenance said the head of flight operations, Air Peace, Captain Victor Egonu.
He noted that while the cost of aircraft maintenance is the same in dollar terms, it costs Nigerian airlines more since the devaluation of the naira because the airlines now have to exchange more naira for the same amount of dollars to pay for maintenance.
Unfortunately the cost of airfares has not increased due to the prevalent economic recession, which has drastically reduced the citizens’ purchasing power.
Egonu admitted that there are three major factors that have led to the death of many Nigerian airlines and these are cost of maintenance, bad management and high cost of aviation fuel.
“Most of the reason why airlines are dying is cost of maintenance because we don’t have Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Nigeria. The decrease in the value of the naira has drastically affected the airlines because the cost of maintenance is still the same, but Nigerian airlines earn less because of the devaluation of the local currency. Airlines also spend more on aviation fuel. Although it is sold in naira but the product is imported so Nigerian airlines pay more for it,” Egonu said.
He noted that the crash of the naira affected all aspects of the economy, adding that investment in the country is very low presently and noted that even if MRO facility is built there is no expertise to manage it because Nigeria does not have aeronautical engineers that would work there.
Egonu urged government to facilitate the training of more Nigerian aeronautical engineers to manage MRO if it is built in the country.
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
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