• Thursday, June 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Green Africa to produce 200 captains, 100 engineers in 10 years

Green Africa mulls maintenance facility to reduce aircraft repair cost

Green Africa Airways, Nigeria’s value carrier, has said it has commenced training for pilots, engineers and cabin crew with the end goal of producing about 200 captains, 100 engineers, 500 cabin crew and 500 professionals to boost Nigeria’s aviation sector.

Speaking during the launch of a Strategic Green Africa Initiative on Tuesday, Babawande Afolabi, the founder & CEO at Green Africa Airways said the airline has commenced monthly training for pilots, and engineers in a bid to achieve this goal.

Afolabi said this initiative will cost the airlines a huge sum but he believes the initiative will be a win-win for the airline and the aviation sector as Green Africa looks to engage more Nigerian pilots.

“If there is going to be a bond, there will be a bond in place. If you have a bond that would demand a pilot work for a particular period of time and for whatever reason, an opportunity comes up and the pilot needs to leave, it will be negotiated. It will not be a case where we have a bond and make the person a slave.

“We will go into contractual agreement that after spending an amount on a pilot, he needs to work for Green Africa for a certain period of time. Now my hope is that actually we can get to a certain scale like it is done in other parts of the world where someone comes in and says: I like this platform, I’d like to join this platform and I’m willing to pay for all my training, so tell me how much I am to pay. There is a module for that, we are not doing that yet but there is a module across the globe,” he explained.

Read also: Passengers groan as aviation fuel scarcity worsens flight delays

Speaking on the cost implication, he said it cost about $40,000 to train as a pilot and get type-rated; between $15,000 to $20,000 to train as an engineer and between $10,000 to $12,000 to train as a flight dispatcher.

“For every pilot we employ, from the first day, we start training them. We look at making them captains. Some people look for jobs after they have trained themselves, yet they do not get the jobs. But Green Africa trains them and gives them automatic employment,” Afolabi said.

Also speaking at the event, Sunday Arome, director, flight operations, Green Africa said some pilots now train themselves to get type-rated to enable them work at an airline, adding that some candidates do not align themselves with the airlines.

Arome explained that many Nigerians who have gone out to do type-rating by themselves, do not still get employed.

“There are some airlines that mention specific places where they want pilots to get type-rated because of the standard of such places and yet that airline may still not accommodate all of them. It is already happening; it is just that the airlines are failing the people. Pilots spend their money to get type-rated and they still do not have employment.

“This is what Green Africa is trying to address. From day one, we are partnering with them. They are not paying 100 percent, they are paying something. Therefore, they will start to have a sense of belonging and from day one, they are already staff of the airline. We take care of them while they are on that training and they come back to a job,” Arome explained.