Nigerian Eagle Airlines’ New Fleet Plan

Nigerian Eagle Airlines is looking to convert its Embraer aircraft order to a lease arrangement and, if unsuccessful, may tap rock-bottom prices to grow its Boeing 737-300 fleet.

Nigerian Eagle chief executive Dapo Olumide said the airline “can’t afford” the new aircraft, so is looking to switch to a lease arrangement. It is also keen to sell the aircraft that have already been delivered, along with the six options.

“This was a very ambitious order,” says Olumide. “Where were they going to get the money from? We are in discussions with Embraer on how to restructure the order. By that I don’t mean delaying the order, but how to make it more affordable.”

“Because of the rock-bottom [737] prices, it’s like going to the $1 store,” he says. “I’ve got a serious dilemma over whether I go for the cheap or the quality option.”

Nigerian Eagle is looking to operate a fleet of about 20 aircraft by 2011, says Olumide. One option is an all-Boeing 737-300 fleet. Another is to retain the five 737-300s, which are needed on longer sectors, and lease 15-16 Embraers in order to lower Nigerian Eagle’s finance costs.

Read the full article here.

Nigerian Eagle Airlines currently operates two EMB-190s and five B733s, which will be joined by two EMB-170s in December. If the airline opts for old Boeing aircraft, it will be difficult for Nigerian Eagle Airlines to effectively compete with Arik Air.

Nigerian Eagle Airlines - EMB-190 - 5N-VNH (Copyright Javier Rodriguez)

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