Over N5billion might have been saved annually by Nigerian airlines by rejecting foreign technical personnel, most especially pilots and engineers. This was as a result of economic hardship, outrageous salaries and allowances paid to expatriate pilots and engineers which forced domestic carriers to look and start training the locals. It was revealed that the airlines are saving huge amount of money through this and have also enlarged training of indigenous personnel.
About 40 percent of their revenues were spent on aviation fuel, according to airline operators while about 30 percent of their resources are spent on pilots’ salaries and when they are expatriates, this doubles.
Air Peace head of Communications, Chris Iwarah, revealed that the airline does not have foreign pilots and engineers, indicating that all the airlines pilots, from captains to flight officers are Nigerians.
Few years ago, it was stated that Nigerian airlines employed foreign pilots due to reliability as Nigerian pilots don’t often stay with the airline that trained them long enough to vindicate the resources spent on their training but now, many domestic carriers have increased their pay to motivate them in staying and working in the country.
Making use of foreign pilots involves the pilots working for two weeks and spending two weeks abroad, after paying them huge salaries and allowances and Nigerian airlines, after comparing the cost of employing expatriates and training local personnel, have decided to utilize the later.
The CEO of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, said the employment of expatriate pilots and engineers depends on the aircraft type because there are some aircraft that do not have many Nigerians that can operate them.