An indigenous investor- Santos Aviation is strategising to set its footprints in the global aircraft interior and fleet refurbishment market valued at over $37 billion.
The aircraft interior industry can be divided on the basis of class into business, first and economy cabins.
The value chain covers aircraft seats, cabin lighting, galley, lavatory, windows, windshield, storage panels, in- flight entertainment and connectivity.
Investigations by The Nation reveal that there is a huge gap in the aircraft interior design market with the retrofit segment estimated to witness strong growth rate in the coming years as a result of upgrades of aircraft seating systems in ageing commercial fleets to improve passenger safety.
The business class segment of the aircraft seating market, investigations reveal, is also expected to account for a sizable share of revenues supported by demand for luxurious seating solutions by companies on corporate travel.
According to investigations, investors are looking at emerging trends in raw fabrics and technical textiles for producing quality seats and increasing use of advanced hybrid composite materials for manufacturing aircraft seats.
To drive the value chain in Nigeria , Santos Aviation has concluded plans to refurbish and maintain aircraft fleets for Nigerian carriers and other operators in the West African region.
The business, its General Manager, Engineer Segun Adesanya said would create multiple jobs for Nigerians and other Africans.
He said the facility would offer a window for airlines to fix challenges associated with aircraft interiors and repairs.
Adesanya, an American based aircraft engineer said many indigenous airlines have suffered untold hardships in getting their aircraft interiors refurbished abroad, spending huge amounts..
He said with the commencement of the aircraft interior work in the country, there would be no need for aircraft to be flown out for upholstery work.
Adesanya revealed that officials of the US Federal Aviation Administration FAA would be coming into the country to certify its operations.
He said they would be working on all American registered aircraft in the country.
Speaking in an interview, an expert, who declined to be named said : ” The aircraft interior market is gaining huge traction globally.
” It is significantly driven by shifting interior design perspectives which are changing from the traditional focus on functional optimization towards quality of passenger experience.
“The quality of the travelling environment is today of significant importance for airline companies against a backdrop of growing competition and increased commoditization of air travel services. One of the ways to de-commoditize air travel is to create new value. Comfortable interiors are therefore emerging into a powerful service differentiator.’