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Wealthy Nigerians splash N100 billion on 12 new private jets

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More wealthy Nigerians are splashing billions to join the league of jet owners. Information available to ENCOMIUM Weekly revealed that 12 brand new private jets have been ordered by Nigerians and some corporate bodies, and they will be delivered to the country this year. According to our source, about N99.8 billion has been paid by individuals and corporate bodies for acquisition of Bombardier jets within this year. We learnt the craze for Bombardier by wealthy Nigerians has increased at an alarming rate. We reliably gathered that a unit cost of a Bombardier jet now is N8.1 billion. Thus, 12 of these expensive toys will gulp about N99.8 billion. Although the identity of the buyers are still shrouded in secrecy, we learnt most are politicians, business moguls and few corporate bodies.

The Regional Vice-President, Sales, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Bombardier Business Aircraft, the Canada-based aircraft manufacturing firm, Mr. Khadar Mattar, who reportedly made the disclosure  described the private jet market in Nigeria as currently “booming.”

Mattar, who said his company delivered 88 out of the 138 aircraft currently flying in Nigeria, noted that Bombardier was currently the market leader in terms of the number of aircraft in Africa.

He said, “In Nigeria, we are looking at another 60 to 70 new business aircraft within five years; that is about 10 airplanes a year. There are 138 airplanes in Nigeria at the moment.

“Bombardier is currently leading the market in Nigeria and Africa. 12 new ones would be delivered this year”

This is an offshoot of the projection by private jet manufacturers to deliver 70 brand new private jets to the country within the next five years.

Mattar said medium-size and large-size private jets were currently more in demand in Nigeria because their owners were flying them to longer distances in Africa, Europe and other continents for business engagements.

Also, the 70 new private jets projected for delivery in the country over the next five years are estimated to be about N 571.2 billion.

The Bombardier senior official also said he expected the 138 private jets currently in the country to double to 276 in the next 10 years because of the manner the business aircraft market was growing in Nigeria.

“The business aviation market in Nigeria is booming. It is actually its time. I will expect that it will double in size in 10 years. People are flying outside Nigeria now; people are flying within Africa because of their business expansion; people are flying to Europe because of their business expansion and the financials that they require.

“Nigeria, as a country, has actually changed; we have more laws and regulations. Infrastructure is changing, which is adapting to the new expansion. Because of this, you will see more private jets actually flying in Nigeria.”

Insiders squealed that the super rich are so passionate about Bombardier jets due to its comfortability and durability. The Bombardier Global Express is a large cabin, ultra long range business jet manufactured by Bombardier Aerospace in Montreal, Canada.

There are currently five variants, the original Global Express, Global 5000, Global 6000, Global 7000 and Global 8000.

The Global Express has been modified for military missions, such as the Raytheon Sentinel and the USAF E-11A. The Global Express can fly intercontinental ranges without refueling (for example, New York -Tokyo) or between most two points in the world with only one stop. In this class the Global Express competes with the Airbus Corporate Jet, Boeing Business Jet and Gulfstream G550.

Bombardier Aerospace began studies in 1991 and the aircraft was officially launched in 1993. The first flight occurred on October 13, 1996.

The Global Express shares the Canadair / Bombardier Regional Jet’s fuselage cross section and is similar in length, but despite the size similarities the two aircraft are very different due to the nature of their roles. The Global Express features an advanced all new supercritical wing with a 35° sweep and winglets, plus a new T-tail. The aircraft is powered by two BMW Rolls Royce BR-710 turbofans with FADEC. The advanced flight deck features a six screen Honeywell Primus 2000 XP EFIS suite and is offered with optional heads-up displays. It is manned by two pilots, 3 or 4 cabin crew and could sit between 8 and 19 passengers depending on the arrangement.

 – FEMI OYEWALE

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