Archive | September 2010

Air Nigeria and Delta Air Lines Apply For Codesharing

Following the codeshare agreement made between Nigerian Eagle Airlines (now Air Nigeria) and Delta Air Lines, the airlines have now applied with the US Department of Transport for authorisation to engage in codesharing services to the full extent permitted by the U.S.-Nigeria Open Skies Agreement. Delta is in the process of conducting a codeshare safety audit of Air Nigeria and will communicate the result of that audit to FAA. Air Nigeria requests that the Department approve its authority to display Delta’s code on its flights as soon as the FAA has advised that it has reviewed the audit report and found it to be acceptable. If permitted, Air Nigeria will place its VK-code on Delta-operated flights between Abuja and Accra and between Accra and Atlanta. The airlines are yet to agree on Delta codesharing on Air Nigeria flights.

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Sixth B733 For Air Nigeria

Air Nigeria will soon accept a sixth B737-300 (serial no. 3127). The aircraft is a former Virgin Nigeria aircraft that was stored at Paris Le Bourget since 2009. The aircraft, registered 5N-VNG, is ferried to Shannon for paint into new livery prior delivery. Air Nigeria announced it will take delivery of two more B737s before the end of the year.

Aero Makes Changes To Schedule

Aero announced it will increase its frequencies from Lagos to Abuja and Port Harcourt to eight and five daily flights respectively, effective October 1, 2010.

From the 17th of October, Aero’s flights from Lagos to Warri (Osubi Airstrip) and Port Harcourt NAF Base will no longer depart from the MMA2 domestic terminal, but will be operated from Aero’s private terminal at Lagos Airport.

The launch of international services to Libreville has been put on hold.

Nigeria To Refurbish Five Major Airports

Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, said the Federal Government has approved the remodelling of five major airports to international standards. The project will cost about N90 billion. The remodelling will involve the construction of new runways and the total upgrade of all the terminal buildings at Abuja, Enugu, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. The Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu, is already closed since February 2010 for a complete renovation.

Afrowood A Fake Airline?

Since the summer Afrowood Airlines and Cargo Services, represented by its CEO James Ogunlade, has been promoting direct flights from Nigeria to South and Central America. He announced the airline would operate directly from Lagos to Paraguay, from where there would be connecting flights to other countries. However, no reliable information can be found about this new airline, or at best, travel agency, and it is unlikely that the company will commence to the Americas in the near future.

Update: Beware of Afrowood Airlines it appears to be a fraud!

Bellview To Resurrect As First Nation Airways?

Recently, there have been indications that the management of defunct Bellview Airlines is trying to breathe new life into the airline. The airline would be renamed ‘First Nation Airways’ and operate a fleet of A320 aircraft. Airbus has added a new African operator called ‘First Nation Airways’ to its orders and deliveries spreadsheet in August with a fleet consisting of three A320s. If First Nation Airways regains Bellview Airlines’ AOC, it might be possible to actually see Airbus aircraft in Nigeria in the near future.

Aero Announces Libreville

Aero announced it will resume flights to Libreville, the capital of Gabon. The three weekly service will commence on 20 September 2010, according to the following schedule:

  • LOS-LBV 23:30-01:20 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
  • LBV-LOS 02:20-04:10 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)

Aero Contractors already flew to Libreville from 2007 to 2009. The destination is also served four times a week by Air Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Aero also introduced a so-called NAMA tax on tickets, after the introduction of a new mode of payment for terminal and navigational charges in Nigeria.

Asaba Airport Update

Asaba Airport, Delta State, is now scheduled to open in December 2010 after a delay due to changes to the design of the airport.

Here is a picture of the ongoing construction work, taken in Augustus 2010 (special thanks to the photographer):

Asaba Airport - August 2010 (Copyright Ken Iwelumo)

Aero Stops Jos And Kaduna Service

Aero announced it will – effective from 1 October 2010 – discontinue its daily flights from Lagos to Jos and Kaduna. Flights into the cities were launched in November 2009, but Aero says the routes are financially not viable.

Kaduna Airport is now served by Arik Air and IRS Airlines, while Arik Air and Overland Airways fly to Jos Airport.

New Nigerian Airline: Tradecraft Air

The first Boeing B767-300 (MSN 23436) of a new Nigerian charter air carrier known as Tradecraft Air ’19 Trade Craft’ has been painted at Victorville. The aircraft is registered 5N-ASG. Earlier, it was reported that this aircraft was acquired by Tradecraft Air and it was also (mistakenly) attributed to Kabo Air.

Here is a first glimpse of the aircraft with nice colours (Copyright BennyTheJett1):

Arik Air Commissions Jet A1 Mini-Depot

Arik Air commissioned its privately owned mini-depot for the storage of Jet A1 at Lagos Airport. The fuel depot has capacity for 100, 000 litres of Jet A1 and should solve the challenges with fueling the airline’s aircraft, which have caused flight delays. Complaints about Arik Air’s punctuality and customer services surged in recent weeks.

NAMA To Introduce ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ System

The Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA) announced that from today it will withdraw all its air navigational services from airlines indebted to the authority. NAMA also informed the airlines that it will introduce a ‘pay as you go’ method to ensure that new debts are not accumulated by the airlines and that they pay for the services rendered to them as they operate.

The debt being owed by the airlines is about N10 billion. Some of the carriers have settled their bills: Air Nigeria, Dana Air, Caverton Helicopters, and Bristow Helicopters, while Aero and IRS Airlines accepted the invoices. The biggest debtor, Arik Air, refused to pay any navigational charges.

Follow-up: Arik Air cancelled all domestic flights today due to the new measures. The airline’s Deputy Executive Vice President, Mr. Chris Ndulue, said that the NAMA is out to destroy the aviation industry.