Chanchangi Airlines announced it has suspended all operations until further notice. The airline lacks funds to keep its fleet in the air. The NCAA grounded the airline on several occasions this year, and Chanchangi’s single B737-200 was damaged after a hard landing at Kaduna Airport two weeks ago.
Air Nigeria’s fifth B737-300 will arrive in Lagos today. The aircraft is registered 5N-VNJ. This registration was initially meant for an EMB-170, ordered by Virgin Nigeria, that eventually went to Gulf Air. The rebranded airline aims to add three more B737s in the coming months.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Nigeria its top air-safety rating today, a decision that allows Nigerian airlines to fly directly to the United States. The U.S. put a ban on direct flights from Murtala Muhammed airport in the 1990s over security concerns.
An Aero B737-500 (5N-BLE) performing flight AJ345 from Lagos to Jos overran the wet runway while landing in Jos at around 18:00h on Saturday, 21 August. The Boeing aircraft came to a stop with nose gear and left main gear on soft ground. No injuries occurred among the 87 passengers and five crew, both nose wheel tyres deflated. The airline said that both nose gear tyres were punctured while landing in Jos. All occupants disembarked safely, no additional damage occurred to the airframe.
A Chanchangi Airlines’ B737-200 (5N-BIF) operating flight NCH334 from Abuja to Kaduna made a hard landing at Kaduna on Friday, 20 August, at 21:45h. The aircraft, with 35 passengers onboard, had its tyres burst and is said to have hit a tree. None of the passengers was seriously injured. According to another source: “the Boeing aircraft ran into turbulent weather, landing several meters short of the runway and damaging the ILS antenna and many runway lights. The plane’s front landing gear and one of its rear tyres burst in the process while a substantial part of its under-belly was also damaged.” Following the incident, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has grounded the aircraft, while investigations have commenced a probe into the incident.
- Paris – Lagos – Port Harcourt: 7 weekly
- London LHR – Lagos: 7 weekly
- London LHR – Abuja: 7 weekly
Delta Air Lines
- Atlanta-Abuja (via Accra): 2 weekly per 1 September 2010
- Atlanta-Lagos: decreased to 5 weekly
- New York JFK – Abuja: 3 weekly till 31 August 2010.
- Dubai – Lagos: 14 weekly
- Addis Ababa – Abuja – Accra: increase from 3 to 4 weekly
- Addis Ababa – Lagos: decrease from 10 weekly to daily
- Amsterdam – Abuja – Kano: 3 weekly
- Amsterdam – Lagos: 7 weekly
- Frankfurt – Abuja – Port Harcourt: 4 weekly
- Frankfurt – Abuja – Malabo: 3 weekly
- Frankfurt – Lagos: 7 weekly
- Doha – Lagos: 7 weekly
- Istanbul – Lagos – Accra: 3 weekly
The Taraba State government announced plans to construct a completely new airport (N10 billion) in the state. This entails that the current airport under construction in the state capital Jalingo will be abandoned. This project, started by the former administration, is in an advanced state, but allegedly there are technical difficulties in completing the runway.
On another note, governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State undertook his first solo flight as a pilot at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, last week.
A few fleet updates:
- Kabo Air acquired a B767-300 (5N-ASG; CN 23436), still stored at Victorville. This aircraft was initially destined for Tradecraft Air. Update this information is incorrect; the aircraft went to a charter airline called 19 Trade Craft.
- The lessor took possession of Air Midwest’s single B737-500 (5N-PVA). The aircraft is re-registered N495MS.
- Chanchangi Airlines announced that one of its B732s (5N-BIH) will soon be back in Nigeria after overhaul in China
Update: Air Midwest’s former B737 (without logo’s and titles) was flown back to Shannon in November 2010.
Nigerian airlines could be allowed to fly their own planes to the United States by the end of the year following improvements in aviation security in the West African nation, U.S. and Nigerian officials said on Wednesday.
“Category 1 would allow Nigerian carriers to fly directly to the U.S. using their own aircraft and crews, establish new routes and frequencies, and add additional aircraft,” Robin Sanders, U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, told a news conference.
“You’ve achieved and crossed … major hurdles on the positive path to Category 1 status, which I hope with my team that you will be able to achieve some time between now and the end of the year,” she said.
Meanwhile, the body scanners bought for Nigeria’s international airports in the wake of a Christmas Day bomb attempt remain unused months later, though U.S. air marshals now protect flights coming into the West African nation.
The Nigerian Government acquired three new aircraft for the presidential fleet. Dassault will supply two Falcon 7x planes ($102 million), while Gulfstream will sell a G550 ($53 million). The first of the two Falcon jets will be delivered by the end of the year while the second Falcon and the Gulfstream are expected to arrive by mid-March 2011.
One assumes that the two Falcon 900s and Gulfstream IV and V belonging to the current presidential fleet may be sold.
Air Nigeria has added Brazzaville as its ninth regional destination in West- and Central-Africa to its schedules this week. The airline has ambitious regional expansion plans as it is currently also recruiting staff to commence operations to Bamako, Conakry, Freetown, Kinshasa, Lomé, Niamey and Ouagadougou.
Kano will also soon return on Air Nigeria’s list of destinations.
Air Nigeria announced it expects to take delivery of four more leased B737-300s this month. The first one (5N-VNJ; ex-N542MS) from GECAS is already painted in Air Nigeria colours at Dublin.
Aero threatens that it may move its operations from the domestic Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) to the old General Aviation Terminal (GAT), because of the high charges levied by Bi-Courtney, the owners of MMA2. Negotiations between the two companies on the issue are ongoing.
On another note, Aero announced that it may blacklist passengers who assaults or abuses any of its employees.
The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahcoaviance) plans to build a new cargo shed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, to replace the existing one. The N1.19bn ($7.9m) project will enhance cargo facilitation and sustain the profitability of the cargo handling business. It will involve semi-automation with enhanced storage capacities and operational efficiencies to increase the annual cargo throughput to 200,000t and 60,000t of imports and exports respectively. Lagos-based Messrs Interaf Construction Limited and German company ALS Logistic Solutions have been appointed as contractors for the project, which will be complete within seven months.
Dana Air appears to have suspended its daily service from Lagos to Port Harcourt as flights are no longer bookable.
The airline announced that it will offer special in-flight service to Muslim guests on all its domestic routes from August 11 to September 11, in acknowledgment of the Ramadan. It consists of special meal packages so that travellers who observe the daytime fasting can take their in-flight meals with them.
Allied Air Cargo is expanding both its aircraft fleet size and route network throughout Africa due to increased demand on all routes. The airline currently operates a fleet of four Boeing 727 Freighters and two MD11Fs leased from World Airways, but will add a third MD11F and two B737-300Fs later this year.
From its European base in Ostende, Belgium, Allied Air now offer direct MD11F services to Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt in Nigeria as well as Kinshasa (in conjunction with Demavia), Libreville (in conjunction with Gabon Airlines), Lusaka (in conjunction with Eurocargo/Stabo Air) as well as numerous other destinations in Africa including Entebbe, Johannesburg and Nairobi.
The B727 fleet operate regional services within West Africa including Abidjan, Accra, Doula, Libreville, Malabo (in conjunction with DHL) as well as domestic freighter services within Nigeria.
One of Allied Air’s B727Fs (5N-JNR) was recently painted in DHL colours (copyright Hsanchez27):
The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken over the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Cargo Airport under construction in Zarama near Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. The Federal Ministry of Aviation (FAAN) will be in charge of the development of the airport initiated by the State Government. Planning for the N45 billion project commenced in 2005, but the construction site flooded recently and is now abandoned.