Archive | May 2010

Small Plane Makes Emergency Landing Near Kano

A Tampico TB-9 training aircraft belonging to NCAT made an emergency landing at a Katoge village, about 20 kilometres away from Kano. Three occupants of escaped unhurt and the aircraft was not badly damaged. The aircraft was to land in Zaria but could not do so due to heavy downpour in the late afternoon. It therefore diverted to Kano Airport, but developed technical problems and was forced to make an emergency landing.

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Arik Air Introduces A330 On 7 June 2010

Arik Air will introduce the new A330-200 (5N-EIA; ex F-WJKL) on the Lagos-Johannesburg route on the 7th of June. The A345 will return on the Lagos-London route this week after maintenance.

Update: the A332 was ferried from Châteauroux to London on May 29, awaiting entry into service with Arik Air.

Arik Air - A330-200

Aero Introduces Fuel Surcharge

Aero announced the introduction of a fuel surcharge of N500, and cash handling charge of N300 on every ticket purchased at its sales desks. Passengers can avoid the cash handling charge by booking and paying for their tickets online. Harold Demuren, director-general of the NCAA, criticised the charges and summoned the airline for an explanation.

Update: The NCAA has stopped Aero from introducing the fuel surcharge, calling it exploitative. Would the NCAA have taken the same measure if Aero just raised the ticket price with N1000?

This Week’s Update

Some bits of news over the past week:

  • The Bauchi State Government owned EMB145 (5N-BJM) was ferried back to Nigeria. It is unclear if the aircraft will return into service with IRS Airlines or will be leased to Kabo Air.
  • Virgin Nigeria is in fresh problems as the GTB Bank tries to recover a $15 million loan. Mud is already being slung to the former CEO Dapo Olumide.
  • The Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, announced the State Government will build its own airport to boost trade and other economic activities.
  • The Ekiti State Government inaugurated a committee responsible for the implementation of the proposed Ado-Ekiti Airport.
  • The Federal Government announced that Katsina Airport will be named in honour of the late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
  • The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) asked the Federal Government to allow regional flights from the MMA2 Domestic Terminal as the MMA International Terminal is often marred by power cuts.
  • The Star Alliance CEO, Jaan Albrecht, said in an interview that the alliance is looking for a partner in West-Africa, especially in Nigeria.
  • The websites of Bellview Airlines and Chanchangi Airlines are deactivated.

Ethiopian Changes Frequencies To Nigeria

Ethiopian Airlines will adjust its flights to Abuja and Lagos. New schedules effective 15 June, 2010:

  • Addis Ababa – Abuja: frequency increased from three to five weekly flights (no flights on Thursdays and Sundays).
  • Addis Ababa – Lagos: frequency reduced from ten weekly to daily flights (the existing three weekly flights to Abidjan via Lagos will be cancelled and routed via Lomé).

This Week’s Update

Some bits of news over the past week:

  • Arik Air will operate a B737-800 on the Lagos-London route till 25 May 2010, due to maintenance on the A345.
  • After the rift with the Akwa Ibom State Government, Arik Air now angered the River State Government, after the airline published a negative report about security in Port Harcourt in its in-house magazine The Winds, calling it an unsafe destination. Arik Air terminated its flights to Port Harcourt NAF Base earlier this year, but still flies to Port Harcourt International Airport.
  • The Minister of Aviation organised a meeting between Aero and Oceanic Bank to find an amicable solution for the debt issue. In the meantime, Aero is operating all its (helicopter) flights according to schedule again.
  • The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) reached an agreement with the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) about the payment of debts by the airlines to the agency. Arik Air reportedly paid N50 million as part of a payment plan.
  • Virgin Nigeria (briefly known as Nigerian Eagle Airlines) issued a statement, but no further comments were made on the announced name change of the airline.
  • VistaJet is expanding in Nigeria. It already has two aircraft based in Lagos and concluded a three-year agreement with Nigerian businessman Kola Aluko.
  • The Nigerian Air Force will build a new aircraft maintenance hangar at Ilorin Airport.
  • Keep an eye on the website of the NAF for updates on the Air Expo that will be held next week at Kaduna.
  • The Senate Committee on Aviation has called for a review of the N64 billion ($426 million) contract for a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The price is ‘far too high, way too expensive and outrageous’, according to the lawmakers.