Pan African Airlines (Nigeria) Ltd. Signs Agreement to Provide First Class Services
As part of its commitment to provide world-class service to the key players in the Oil & Gas Industry, Pan African Airlines (Nigeria) Ltd.’s (Pan African) has announced a significant milestone this week with the signing of a Technical Service Agreement between Pan African and BGI Aviation Technical Services (BATS).
BATS will provide Pan African with a world class organisation providing maintenance and technical support and give Pan African a distinct advantage by offering access to state-of-the-art aircraft, global expertise in aviation engineering, market-leading standards, policies and practices, simulator training facilities; an ab initio flight school and, an engineering training college located in Zaria, Nigeria.
Chairman, HRH the Otunba Adekunle Ojora remarked, “This is a key step in our process to streamline and position our organisation to better serve our customers and the Nigerian Aviation market as a whole.”
A truly indigenous Nigerian company, Pan African Airlines (Nigeria) Ltd. has built an enviable reputation in the industry over the last 50 years, providing a versatile, flexible and high quality service with both its fixed wing and helicopter fleet of aircraft.
For over fifty years, Bristow Group (“Group”) has been involved in the Nigerian aviation and oil & gas industries through its local Nigerian companies Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited (“BHNL”) and Pan African Airlines (Nigeria) Limited (“PAAN”). The length of that commitment to Nigeria is something that the Group is immensely proud of, as is the quality, efficiency, heritage and dedication to Nigeria displayed by each of BHNL’s and PAAN’s employees every minute of every day.
Early last year the Federal Government of Nigeria passed the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development Act, with the aim of creating more sustainable, stand-alone Nigerian companies and businesses within the Nigerian oil & gas industry. This is an aim that each of BHNL, PAAN and the Group wholeheartedly supports. Our belief in that aim is why the Group has supported BHNL and PAAN to train over 200 Nigerian pilots since 1986 (with only the Nigerian Air force having trained more pilots than BHNL and PAAN), and is why, on the engineering side, we have sponsored engineering students through the Engineering Training School at NCAT Zaria and put in place a robust Apprenticeship Programme, which started in 1988 and now produces over 10 Nigerian engineers per year into the two businesses. Bristow Group recognises the importance to the country and people of Nigeria of developing Nigerian content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, and we will continue to work towards making that happen.
At the same time, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has asked for BHNL and PAAN to be more clearly and fully separated for regulatory purposes, as part of the Air Operators recertification process under the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs July 2009).
The increased emphasis on Nigerian Content and on better separating BHNL and PAAN from an operational perspective both constitute substantial market shifts, which require each of BHNL, PAAN and the Group to recognise and respond to them appropriately in order to remain a competitive critical part of the Nigerian oil & gas and aviation industries.
We are therefore excited to announce that BHNL, PAAN and the Group have agreed in principle to make a number of important changes to their operating model, in order to properly and fully embrace those market shifts, at the same time as maintaining safety as each company’s number one priority. These changes are as follows:
- BHNL and PAAN will now each stand on its own feet, utilising its own local resources, its own local people and its own local assets, whilst the Group (as their international technical support partner) will focus on being responsible for those elements where, as the leading global helicopter operator, it can provide the local entity on an arms’ length basis with a competitive/commercial advantage.
- To enable that to happen, the Group has set-up a new Nigerian entity – BGI Aviation Technical Services (BATS) – to focus on providing technical aviation maintenance services within Nigeria, through a unique combination of global expertise and market-leading standards in aviation engineering and technical services with the best aviation engineers and maintenance resources in Nigeria.
- Each of BHNL and PAAN are in the process of finalising and signing separate new detailed Technical Services Agreements with BATS. Under these agreements, BATS will support the aviation operations of each of BHNL and PAAN (and potentially other Nigerian aviation companies) by providing them with key aviation technical services, where required – such as maintenance, supply chain, the secondment of expatriate employees, and operational standards & know-how. This will allow each of BHNL and PAAN (as well as any other clients) to have autonomy over its own flight operations, whilst still being supported by the leading global helicopter operator. These agreements are expected to come into effect this year.
- To re-assure their clients, and to maintain a commercial edge over its competitors, each of BHNL, PAAN and BATS has also committed to continue to apply and use all key Bristow Group standards & policies, including without limitation its Code of Business Integrity (COBI) as well as its innovative Target Zero safety programme and the Group’s world-leading Operations Manuals. Safety and integrity always has been – and always will remain – core to each of BHNL, PAAN and BATS.
I am also pleased to inform you that, whilst the above changes are being implemented and put in place, BATS, BHNL and PAAN have also agreed on the following steps to enable each of BHNL, PAAN and BATS to operate freely in the market place as completely separate entities, each with their own distinct identity, in accordance with the requirements of the NCAA:
- BHNL and PAAN will have their own dedicated Managing Directors, focussing solely on that entity’s business activities. The role of dedicated MD for BHNL will continue to be filled by Captain Akin Oni, whilst Alan Grant will be confirmed as dedicated MD of PAAN once the necessary formalities have been completed. BATS will also have its own dedicated Managing Director, with extensive aviation engineering experience, given that BATS will be focussed on providing first-class aviation engineering and technical services into the Nigerian aviation market. Nick ‘Tufty’ Travers will be appointed to fulfil that role, again, once the necessary formalities have been completed.
- In order to meet the increased requirements of the Nigerian Content Act and fully separate BHNL and PAAN as explained above, each of BATS, BHNL and PAAN will also have its own dedicated workforce.
- BHNL will remain ‘Bristow branded’, flying under Bristow colours & with the Group retaining a direct minority shareholding in that local entity. BHNL will also take new steps to bolster and re-state its market position and, again, a dedicated website will be an important part of that – www.bristownigeria.com.
- PAAN will now present itself openly and actively to the market as an ‘independent’ 100% Nigerian owned company, flying under its own livery. Bristow Group will therefore transfer its shares in PAAN into Nigerian ownership. PAAN has already launched a new dedicated website to start that process – www.pan-africanairlines.com.
- BATS will also be taking immediate steps to carve out its own position in the market. That position will be centred around its unique combination of global expertise and market-leading standards in aviation engineering and technical services with the best aviation engineers and maintenance resources in Nigeria to provide first-class aviation engineering and technical services into the Nigerian aviation market. BATS will also have its own distinct logo and branding, and will also have its own dedicated website – www.batsaviation.com.
The transition process to implement all of the above changes has already commenced and will continue until BHNL, PAAN and BATS have all the required regulatory approvals in place. Continuity and safety, though, will be key objectives throughout this exciting process, so that this new structure is implemented as smoothly, safely and simply as possible. Achieving that will enable each of BHNL, PAAN, BATS and Bristow Group to continue to be successful competitive and critical parts of the Nigerian oil & gas and aviation industries, for the benefit of all shareholders and employees of each company as well as the country and people of Nigeria.
New management spells a new era for Pan African Airlines (Nigeria) Ltd.
50 year old aviation company, Pan African Airlines (Nigeria) Ltd. has announced intentions to embark on a bold new strategy to capitalise on the opportunities offered to Nigerian companies servicing the Oil & Gas Industry in Nigeria.
Incorporated on the 25th April 1961, Pan African Airlines (Nigeria) Ltd. (Pan African) has built an enviable reputation in the industry over the last 50 years, providing a versatile, flexible and high quality service with both its fixed wing and helicopter fleet of aircraft.
Building on this wealth of experience and expertise Pan African is entering a new era with a renewed and ambitious focus on developing and expanding the organisation to become a significant player in every sector of the Nigerian aviation market.
The key first step of this transformation is the appointment of a dedicated Management Team to implement the aggressive growth strategy and this new team will be led by Alan Grant.
Mr. Grant is a business professional with over 10 years experience in the aviation sector. Over the years Mr. Grant has managed fixed wing and offshore helicopter operations in the UK, the Netherlands and Norway. In early 2010 he transferred to Nigeria and has spent the last year familiarising himself with the unique challenges and opportunities that are a part of everyday life in the Nigerian aviation industry. This experience has been invaluable in preparation for this appointment and Mr. Grant is eager to get ball rolling; “I see this as a fantastic opportunity for Pan African to really make a mark on both the Oil & Gas industry and the Nigerian aviation sector as a whole. We have now appointed a dedicated and highly experienced management team who have the skills and the commitment required to take Pan African to the forefront of both fixed wing and helicopter operations in Nigeria.”
HRH the Otunba Adekunle Ojora, the Pan African Chairman added “exciting times lie ahead for the Nigerian aviation industry and Pan African are ideally placed to capitalise on the opportunities that will arise.”
Pan African’s current rotary wing fleet includes Bell 412’s, Bell 407’s and Bell 206’s, all of which are contracted to support the offshore oil and gas industry. On the fixed wing side Pan African currently operates Cessna Caravan and Citation XLS aircraft, one of which is in full VIP configuration. Mr. Grant states, “Our existing fleet of aircraft is the launch pad for expanding our business and we are looking to invest in new technology helicopters in order that our future fleet will meet the aspirations of current and future clients as well as reflect the ambitions of the management and the staff. All the employees here are very proud of the reputation and heritage of Pan African and are delighted to be part of what will be an incredible chapter in the history of the company.”
In addition to having a highly motivated workforce and management team Pan African will have a world class organisation providing maintenance and technical support, BGI Aviation Technical Services (Nigeria) Ltd. (BATS) will give Pan African a distinct advantage by offering access to:
- state of the art aircraft
- global expertise in aviation engineering
- market-leading standards, policies and practices
- simulator training facilities
- an ab initio flight school
- an engineering training college located in Zaria, Nigeria
“Our immediate focus is two fold, 1) to aggressively grow the business and demonstrate our expertise to a wide variety of new clients, and 2) to continue our heritage of training local Nigerian personnel to eventually fill the seats and workbenches previously filled by expatriates. As the business grows so will the Nigerian expertise and experience.” said HRH the Otunba Adekunle Ojora.