This week’s updates:
- Domestic airline are considering to stop flights to Kano, Maiduguri and Yola due to the insecurity in the northern regions of the country.
- Only two of IRS Airlines’ five F100s are operational at the moment. The airline now operates flights to Abuja, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos.
- ATR presented its turboprops to the Federal Government last week.
- New en route air traffic control radar for the Nigerian flight information region should be operational by April 12, according to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
- Nigeria is setting up an Air Disaster Assistance Scheme.
- The Federal Government has approved US-based company Associated Air Center (AAC) to become an authorized maintenance organisation for the Presidential Air Fleet.
- The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is going back to court hoping to terminate its agreement with the owners of Lagos MMA Terminal 2. Furthermore, FAAN cancelled the lease of two plots of land to Bi-Courtney on which a hotel and conference centre were to be constructed.
- A good commentary on the consequences of political interference in the Nigerian aviation sector.
- The NCAA is trying to resolve the labour conflict between Aero and its staff. Anyhow, the airline’s operational capability has to be re-validated by the NCAA before it can resume operations.
- Evergreen Apple will organise the first Nigerian Business Aviation Conference on 7 May 2013.
- Bristow Nigeria will soon take delivery of a Sikorsky S-76C (ex-G-CGRU), which left Norwich earlier this week for Lagos.
- The renovated terminal at Kano Airport will be commissioned today.
- Aero is yet to resolve its conflict with the labour unions over recent cost cutting measures. Flight operations are still suspended.
- Fola Akinkuotu is nominated as new director-general of the NCAA by the presidency. Akinkuoto is currently the rector of the International Aviation College, Ilorin.
- The Senate is planning to review all Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) to put an end to ‘the ongoing rip-off of Nigerians by foreign airlines’.
- Nigeria will soon sign a BASA with Israel. Pilgrims travelling to Israel may be able to fly directly to Tel Aviv later this year.
- Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) signed a deal with a Chinese company to build new airport terminals at Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. Construction work will start in June this year.
- Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which holds stakes in Arik Air, Aero and Chanchangi Airlines, is hopeful it will recover its investments, and is willing to sale its interests in the airlines.
- The Presidential Amnesty Office announced that it is planing to train 200 aircraft and helicopter pilots under its youth empowerment programme.
- Kano State will train a 100 pilots at the Mideast Aviation Academy in Jordan.
- OAS Helicopters is planning to start serving the upstream oil and gas sector. It signed a deal with Gulf Helicopter Company from Qatar to provide suitable helicopters and technical expertise.
- The renovated terminal of Benin Airport will be commissioned today.
- A power outage at Lagos Airport last Monday during a rainstorm forced an Emirates aircraft to divert to Lomé.
- Ibadan Airport was closed last Saturday, after a Caverton helicopter blocked the runway with a burst tire.
- After dismantling about fifteen aircraft at Lagos, the FAAN has now started clearing abandoned aircraft at Abuja Airport.
- CAPA made an analysis of the number of seats offered on the domestic and Nigeria-Europe routes.
- According to some insiders, the Federal Government favours Embraer as provider of new aircraft to the domestic carriers.
- Arik Air has expressed interested in acquiring Q400s, CRJ1000s and even the C Series from Bombardier.
- PHCN’s last two MBB Bo-105s (5N-EPA and 5N-BCJ) have been grounded over the past years.
- An enquiry by the Navy revealed that the crash of the A109 helicopter on 15 December last year ‘might have been caused by human error or material failure or both‘.
- Caverton Helicopters has ordered three additional AW139s. The company already operates six helicopters of this type.
- Med-View Airline announced it will soon launch a Abuja-Port Harcourt service. The airline is expecting two B737-800s to join its fleet this month.
- SkyBird Air’s third and last Do-328Jet (5N-BMH, 5N-SPE, 5N-SPM) was ferried from Germany to Nigeria this week.
- Hak Air’s first of four B737-400s (5N-BOT, 5N-BOU, 5N-BOV, 5N-BOW was ferried from Indonesia to Nigeria this week.
- DANA no longer operates a Do 328 (5N-DOW) for Punto Azul.
- Air Zimbabwe plans to start a three-weekly Harare-Accra-Lagos-Harare service, operated by an A320, per 2 April 2013.
Overland Airways introduced a new six-weekly flight service between Abuja and Akure, the capital of Ondo State. Schedule:
- OJ1198 Abuja-Akure 09:45-10:45 (Weekdays)
- OJ1199 Akure-Abuja 11:15-12:15 (Weekdays)
- OJ1198 Abuja-Akure 12:00-13:00 (Sundays)
- OJ1199 Akure-Abuja 13:30-14:30 (Sundays)
Akure Airport was left without any scheduled commercial flights, after Arik Air and Associated Aviation abandoned the airport last year.
- The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) recorded 14,3 million air travellers in 2012, according to a press release. This is a decrease of four per cent in passengers compared to 2011, although the numbers given in the statement conflict with those on FAAN’s website.
- The Federal Government has implemented a duty waiver for the import of aircraft and spare parts. Foreign registered aircraft based in Nigeria are excluded from the waiver.
- TopBrass Aviation took delivery of its third Dash 8-Q300 (5N-TBA) last week, meanwhile another aircraft of the same airline (5N-TBB) was spotted at Maastricht for maintenance.
- Reportedly, Aero will soon accept its first Dash 8-Q400 (5N-???; ex-G-JEDO), which was ferried to Norwich for painting. One of Aero’s B737-400s (5N-BJA) is currently at Bournemouth for a new coat of paint.
- Overland Airways apparently accepted its second ATR 72-200 (5N-BPF; ex-F-WNUF). A third ATR 72 is being prepared for the airline at Toulouse. Meanwhile, Overland is recruiting pilots and mechanics for B737NG aircraft, meaning that the B737-800 (EI-EZB) may join its fleet after all.
- Dana Air added a fifth return flight between Lagos and Abuja on weekdays. The airline intends to re-start services to Port Harcourt before the end of February 2012.
- A Nigerian official blamed a pilot error for last year’s Dana Air crash, even though the official report is yet to be published.
- Cross River State announced that Bebi Airstrip, serving Obudu Mountain Resort, will get a regular commercial service in March 2013. The state government acquired an aircraft – probably the Dash 8-200 (5N-GRS) purchased from Rivers State, rather than the mentioned ATR 42 – to serve the airstrip.
- Cross River State also wants the runway of Calabar Airport extended. The airport recently got the status of cargo airport.
- A Hawker 4000 (5N-NOC) belonging to NNPC overran the runway at Warri on 6 February 2013.
- Omni Air’s Makurdi-based Air Tractor 502 (5N-BPV).
- Arik Air and IRS Airlines are no longer making night stops at Maiduguri for security reasons.
- The 2003 white paper on the mismanagement of Nigeria Airways has been dug up again by local media.
- The Nigerian Air Force has only one serviceable trainer aircraft at its Kaduna Base. Three Do 228s will be refurbished.
- The company responsible for the dismantling of derelict aircraft (video) in Nigeria paid N800,000 for each aircraft.
- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is set to improve the nation’s radar control. However, pilots dispute the claim that the TRACON project resulted in a complete radar coverage of the Nigerian airspace.
- The Senate has ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria to recover a loan of N35.5 billion from Jimoh Ibrahim. The sum came from the Aviation Intervention Fund and was intended for Air Nigeria.
- The Senate again asked the Federal Government to revoke Dana Air’s AOC and to fire the DG of the NCAA for negligence of duty.
- A few images of the clearing of stored aircraft at Lagos Airport. A DHL B727F and NICON Airways B727 are the first aircraft to be dismantled.
- FAAN announced that it will construct twelve cargo terminals across the country to boost the export of perishable goods.
- FAAN has accepted six refurbished fire tenders. Jalingo Airport is currently the only airport in Nigeria without a fire tender.
- Runway lighting will be installed at Enugu, Yola and Owerri, and these airports will be open for night operations from 24 March 2013 onwards.
- The promised duty waiver on aircraft and aircraft parts is yet to be implemented by the Federal Government.
- Ticket prices have dropped on domestic routes in the recent weeks, because of increased supply.
- Arik Air quit its Abuja-Katsina route.
- Arik Air issued a RFP to finance four Bombardier jets.
- ExecuJet Nigeria in Lagos has been named a Line Maintenance Facility (LMF) for Bombardier business jets.
- VistaJet asked the support of the Federal Government to expand its activities in Nigeria. Apparently, the charter airline currently operates on the AOC of SkyPower Express.
- Chanchangi’s second B737-300 (5N-BMC) will re-join the airline’s fleet shortly. The airlines also hopes to add two more B737 Classics before the summer.
- The Minister of Aviation disclosed that the launch of a new national carrier is in its final stage of approval.
- FAAN has begun to dismantle derelict aircraft at Lagos Airport, meanwhile an entrepreneur wants to collect abandoned aircraft to set up an Aviation Museum in Nigeria.
- The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced it will enforce the new Passenger Bill of Rights to make sure that all airlines comply to the new rules protecting air travellers.
- Gombe State Government has struck a new deal with Arik Air to increase the current five-weekly service between Gombe and Abuja to a daily service.
- Med-View Airline has suspended its Lagos-Owerri service after just one month.
- AirFrance will offer more seats on its daily flights from Paris to Abuja and Port Harcourt per 31 March 2013, changing from A332 to B772 equipment. The airline also serves Lagos daily from Paris with an A332.
- The Nigerian Air Force has acquired a former SAS B737-505 (to be registered NAF 916; ex-LN-BRV). The aircraft is currently at Istanbul for maintenance.
- PICOMMS lost the feud with NIMASA and will be disolved by the Federal Government. The Nigerian Navy will take over the assets of PICOMMS, including a B350, DA42 and Cessna 206.
- An article on the Biafran Air Force (shared by Alaba).
- Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers in the US for further training.
- The foundation of the new airport in Bauchi State was laid by the State Governor on 25 January 2013. The second airport in the state should be ready before the end of the year.
- A couple of pictures showing the ongoing renovation work on the Owerri Airport terminal emerged on the net. Apparently all the domestic airports – Benin, Port Harcourt and Enugu – are getting a very similar look.
On Monday, 21 January 2012, the renovated General Aviation Terminal at Abuja Airport was inaugurated by the Deputy Speaker of the Senate. The old domestic terminal will now be used for unscheduled flights, as well as the annual Hajj flights. According to the Minister of Aviation:
It was not only that the old domestic terminal at this airport did not meet acceptable international standard, it was also not befitting of an airport in the country’s capital city, which has been described as the fastest growing capital city in the world. The airport also did not have general aviation and cargo terminals irrespective of the fact that it had long become the second busiest airport in the country, after the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja. All these inadequacies have now been addressed, under the airport remodeling project. Work on the remodeling of this terminal, which started in October 2010, entailed the expansion and modernization of the old domestic terminal. This GAT, which will handle all non-scheduled flights at this airport, has a full complement of such modern facilities as lounges, including one for pilots, offices, duty rooms, private airline offices, a conference room, dining hall, shops and a game room, for recreation.
The Minister of Aviation also disclosed that work will soon commence on a new international terminal at Abuja, until its completion the current international terminal will be used for both domestic and international flights. Overall, the first phase of airport re-modelling is nearing its completion, and eleven more airport terminals will be renovated during the second phase that will start later this year. Furthermore, the FAAN intends to build General Aviation Terminals for private and corporate jet owners at Enugu, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Yola.
Aero will later this month commence flight from Lagos to Sokoto via Abuja. Flights are available from 28 January 2013 onwards, and will be operated on weekdays and Sundays. Schedule:
- ABV-SKO AJ251 08:00-09:15
- SKO-ABV AJ252 10:00-11:15
The airline has suspended its Lagos-Warri-Port Harcourt NAF Base-route again.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) recorded a total of 13.4 million passengers in 2012. This is an increase of 2.4 million over the 11 million passengers handled in 2011. The breakdown of the numbers per airport is not yet available.
Note: FAAN gave the following statement refuting the abovementioned numbers:
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria wishes to correct a false information stating that 13.4 million was recorded as the passenger traffic for the year 2012. The figure said to emanate from FAAN is false in its entirety. For the avoidance of doubt, the traffic figure for the year 2012 is being collated as at press time. We recorded a positive passenger growth of 17.2% between January – June, 2009 and not a negative growth as reported in some news outlets. The negative growth recorded was in the international aircraft movement as a result of the airlines using larger aircraft. This however did not affect the international passenger growth. The passenger traffic figure published for the year 2010 puts the passenger traffic at 13, 981, 677 while that of 2011 stands at 14, 834, 269. This clarification has become necessary as the incorrect figure is being quoted as authentic. The Authority wishes to place on record its appreciation for inquiries being made to verify information.
FAAN also announced that the renovation of Kaduna Airport will be ready in three months. Furthermore, the agency will install electronic toll gates at Abuja Airport to improve the traffic flow. However, FAAN’s efforts to remove all derelict aircraft from airports across the country are hampered by the aircrafts’ owners.
Dana Air has resumed commercial operations on Thursday, 3 January 2012. The airline, operating a fleet of five MD83s, operated a single positioning flight from Lagos to Abuja in the afternoon. Scheduled operations will restart on Friday, with a three daily Abuja-Lagos service. Schedule:
- ABV-LOS 9J350 07:20-08:37 (Monday-Saturday)
- ABV-LOS 9J350 09:00-10:17 (Sunday)
- ABV-LOS 9J354 12:06-13:23 (Daily)
- ABV-LOS 9J356 16:29-17:37 (Daily)
- LOS-ABV 9J353 09:45-10:53 (Daily)
- LOS-ABV 9J355 14:22-15:30 (Daily)
- LOS-ABV 9J359 18:36-19:53 (Daily)
Med-View Airline has uploaded schedules for its new daily Abuja-Yola and Lagos-Owerri service:
- LOS-QOW VL2110 07:30-08:45
- QOW-LOS VL2111 09:30-10:45
- ABV-YOL VL2102 10:30-11:40 (Weekdays)
- ABV-YOL VL2102 11:00-12:10 (Saturday)
- ABV-YOL VL2104 13:55-15:05 (Sunday)
- YOL-ABV VL2103 12:30-13:40 (Weekdays)
- YOL-ABV VL2103 13:00-14:10 (Saturday)
- YOL-ABV VL2105 15:45-16:55 (Sunday)
The flights to Yola originate from Lagos, meaning that passengers can travel from Lagos to Yola with a stopover in Abuja.
Med-View Airline carried 32,956 passengers in the first two months of its operations. A B737-800 (CS-TQU) is wet-leased from EuroAtlantic Airways, and a second B737-800 will join the airline’s fleet in March 2013. Med-View will then commence flights to Kano and Sokoto.
A few updates:
- Dana Air has sent its employees on compulsory leave, since the airline’s intentions to resume services have met with political resistance.
- Med-View Airlines currently wet-leases a B737-800 (CS-TQU) from EuroAtlantic Airways.
- A second A319 (5N-FNE; ex-EI-DVU) has been painted in FirstNation Airways’ colours. The airline aims to resume commercial operations next year.
- Overland Airways has resumed its daily Abuja-Asaba service.
- Four suspects were arrested near Enugu Airport, with two boxes of fireworks in their car.
- The Aviation Investigation Bureau will soon get its own accident investigation laboratory in Abuja at a cost of US$5.5 million.
- Aero has been awarded a Best Domestic Airline of the year 2012 prize.
- The FG is planning to impose stricter rules on the operation of private, corporate and charter aircraft in Nigeria.
- Niger State has allocated N80 million for the training of ten pilots by NCAT at Zaria and Minna.
Chanchangi Airlines has once more resumed scheduled flights from Lagos to Abuja and Kaduna. Chanchangi operates a single B737-300 (5N-BMB), according to the following schedule:
- Kaduna-Lagos 07:00-08:00
- Lagos-Abuja 09:00-10:00
- Abuja-Lagos 11:45-12:45
- Lagos-Kaduna 17:00-18:00
A couple of updates:
- Aero took delivery of its sixth B737-400 (5N-BPQ; ex-N605SC) this week.
- One of Dana Air’s MD83s (5N-SRI) was ferried back to Abuja, after maintenance checks in Istanbul.
- Reportedly, Arik Air will get a second A332 (5N-JID/EI-EWG; ex-Kingfisher). But the first A332, ‘The Lady of Grace’, is still stored at Bordeaux for unknown reasons, so it will take a while before the aircraft will enter service, if it ever does.
- IRS Airlines signed an agreement with Turkish Airlines to cooperate with regard to staff training and aircraft maintenance.
- The two VVIP-helicopters ordered for the Presidential Air Fleet have been identified as AW101s. It seems that the order for a Hawker 4000 has been cancelled, since the aircraft manufacture entered bankruptcy.
- Delta Air Lines celebrates five years of service to Nigeria: ‘More than 570,000 passengers have flown on Delta’s flights between Nigeria and the United States since 2007 and this year Delta has seen strong load factors of over 80%. Additionally, over the last 5 years, Delta has transported around 6,500 tons of cargo between Nigeria and the U.S., facilitating trade and commerce between the two nations.’
- EgyptAir will increase its capacity on the Cairo-Abuja route in December 2012 and January 2013, as A330-200 is to operate on selected periods instead of Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) will divide the Lagos Area Control Centre into two sectors per 17 December 2012, meaning that an additional radio frequency (120.9 MHz) will be created to relieve the heavily congested existing radio frequency (127.3 MHz). Meanwhile, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) warns that air safety is under threat due to the bad state of communication facilities.
- None of the airports in Nigeria are ICAO approved.
- Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) has announced that it achieved approved maintenance organisation (AMO) certification from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
- There is a new issue of Arik Wings out.
The Federal Government has concluded the arrangements with Chinese investors and construction companies for the construction of five new passenger terminals and six new cargo terminals. The deal is part of the second phase of the Aviation Road Map of the Ministry of Aviation. New international terminals as well as cargo terminals will be built at Abuja, Enugu, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt, while Asaba is the sixth airport to get a cargo terminal. Work on the new terminals will commence in December 2012 and should be completed within nineteen months.
Jos Airport has also been designated as a cargo airport by the Federal Government. The airport is currently being refurbished as part of the first phase of the airport remodelling exercise.
Meanwhile, travellers are complaining about the new GA terminal at Lagos Airport. The terminal was inaugurated before being completed and delivered by the contractor, ArchiVisual Solutions. For example, the air conditioning and conveyor belts are not yet functional.
Asky Airlines has added Bangui to its two-weekly Lomé-Lagos-Douala routing. The Togolese airline now operates the following direct services from/to Nigeria, apart from the indirect services via Lomé:
- KP34 Lagos-Douala-Bangui 16:15-17:50 / 18:35-20:40 (Thursday and Sunday)
- KP35 Lagos-Lomé 12:25-12:30 (Monday and Friday)
- KP40 Lagos-Libreville-Kinshasa 1610-18:15 / 18:55-20:45 (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
- KP41 Lagos-Lomé 12:40-12:30 (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
- KP44 Lagos-Douala-Brazzaville 16:10-17:50 / 18:30-20:30 (Tuesday and Friday)
- KP45 Lagos-Lomé 12:40-12:30 (Wednesday and Saturday)
- KP32 Abuja-Niamey 17:20-18:50 (Thursday and Sunday)
- KP33 Abuja-Lomé 11:35-12:05 (Monday and Friday)
Other (newly established) West African airlines, such as Air Côte d’Ivoire, Douniah Airlines, Fly540, Gambia Bird Airlines, Senegal Airlines, and Starbow Airlines, have all expressed their intention to commence flights to Nigeria too.
A few bits of news:
- An interesting read: ‘Benefits of Air Transport in Nigeria‘.
- The NCAA has directed the domestic airlines to install the AFIRS system on their aircraft within six months, meanwhile almost all airports, including runway at Lagos Airport used for domestic flights, lack functional runway lighting.
- NAMA has ordered a Beechcraft King Air 350 for its Navigational Aids Flight Inspection and Surveillance (NAFIS), as the HS 125-700 (5N-AVK) caliberation aircraft inherited from the NCAA is “too fast”.
- The House of Representatives has summoned Emirates, Asky, Turkish and Ethiopian to determine whether the Minister of Aviation denied these airlines landing rights at Kano Airport.
- From 1 December 2012, Emirates will operate its two daily Dubai-Lagos flights with B77W equipment, which means a 48 per cent increase in capacity. After replacing the current A345 on the route, the airline will offer 10.000 seats from and to Lagos every week.
- Dana Air is set to resume flights between Lagos and Abuja with two MD83s. The airline is considering the B737 and A319 as replacement aircraft.
- Aero announced it added two B737-400s to its fleet.
- Overland Airways’ B737-800 (EI-EZB; ex-OE-LNJ) will be leased from Austrian Airlines.
- Azikel Air acquired an Agusta A109S Grand (M-AZKL). It’s probably the fifth private helicopter that has been imported to Nigeria this year.
- Dangote Group acquired a Learjet 45 (N104DN).
- Kabo Air has leased a B747-400 (TF-AMY) from Air Atlanta for the remaining Hajj period.
- Regina Air is a possible new Abuja-based start-up airline.
- Air Nigeria’s AOC expired last week.
- The blog is now supported by a twitter account; double entries will be kept at a minimum.