Human capital development which had been an issue in the aviation sector is gradually being addressed.
One of the airlines that has taken the bull by the horns in addressing this problem is Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest airline as it says it has so much expectations for the airline and industry in the future and will do anything to train needed manpower for it.
During the week, Chris Ndule, managing director/executive vice president of the airline disclosed that they have signed a multi-billion naira training deal with Cranfied University in order to allow all its staff get required training as laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.
Ndulue said the airline believes that “manpower is key to the success of any organisation” adding that the airline will spend a fortune to give necessary training to staff.
The partnership, according to Ndulue, will also include exchange programmes between Arik Air and Cranfield University.
“The training is more paramount to us than its cost now because the opportunity cost is expected to fetch us more in the future.
“The airline industry is a dynamic one and at Arik Air we believe we have to be in tune with current trends in the sector. This is the essence of this partnership which will set Arik apart from other airlines. It is meant to address the dearth of qualified manpower in the Nigerian aviation sector, and to train world class managers for the future of Arik Air and the aviation industry in Nigeria.”
Also speaking, John Frankie O’Connell, an expert in airline management at the Air Transport Department of Cranfield University who will be conducting a seminar for Arik Air management staff, said Africa is the next big market for air transport adding that the airlines need to do all in their best to make this realisable.
“Today, 2.7 billion people travel by air globally, although, it is difficult to make money in air travel business, traffic increase when there is recovery from crisis but dwindles when there is crisis, the future for growth and expansion in there,” he said.
According to Ndulue, the deal of the training will cover airline industrial trends, commercial and airline strategy, among others; general trends of the aviation industry; aero politics and new regulatory trends facing the airline industry.
Others are airline traffic, demand, forecasts and aircraft orders as well as traffic measurements for full service airlines among other topics.
Arik Air operates mainly from two hubs at Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.
It operates a fleet of 23 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircraft including two Airbus A340-500 making the airline the first operator of the wide bodied aircraft in Africa.