Airline distribution solution provider, Sabre Network West Africa, says it has commenced its Masters in Business Administration partnership programme with the College of Postgraduate Studies, Babcock University to bridge skills gap in the industry.

The firm said the programme in airline and travels management, which commenced on September 8, came two years after signing a memorandum of understanding with Babcock.

The President, Sabre Network West Africa, Dr Gbenga Olowo, said in the light of the development, Babcock had become the first university in Nigeria to offer such a course in aviation.

He said the programme would run for 18 months, adding that the MBA programme was open to all holders of the first-degree certificate in any discipline across the world.

According to him, students who enrol for the programme will be trained in managerial economics, organisation behaviour, management theory, aviation safety and security, essential of airline training and technology, as well as fundamental of airline operations, among others.

Olowo said the programme would be of great benefit to Nigeria’s aviation industry.

He explained that the company chose Babcock because of its integrity and willingness to work with the organisation.

He said, “We are expecting as many people as possible. In fact, we are thinking of 180 million Nigerians. Luckily, there is no university in Nigeria or on the continent that runs this programme. So, we are pioneering it.

“Nigeria has placed a huge emphasis on pilots and engineers training which constitutes its major cost. Hopefully, the economic health of our airlines will improve with the influx of would-be graduates into the industry.”

He said the firm, had desired to fill the gross manpower shortage especially in commercial aviation where airline wealth was generated.

Olowo said the failure in the sector in Nigeria had been regrettably due to an aging workforce and a very poor knowledge of airline economics.