A few short updates:
- Overland Airways accepted a third ATR 42-300 (5N-BND) this week.
- NAHCON contracted Alwafeer Air to carry Hajj pilgrims from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia (presumably for Meridian Airlines).
- An Aero B735 suffered an incident at Lagos Airport on 24 October 2010, as mist developed in the cabin prior landing.
- Air Nigeria published its new schedules, including the new service to Kano that starts next week. The airline is desperately in need of a new website though.
- Click here to see the future website of FirstNation Airways featuring its logo. The airline is recruiting flight crew and mechanics for A320 and B763ER aircraft.
After the Nigerian aviation market was liberalised in the early 1990s, many private airlines emerged and the Bac 1-11 became one of their favourite aircraft. Kabo Air and Okada Air were the largest operators and served many airports for relatively low fares. In 2002 the Bac 1-11 was banned in Nigeria after a couple of ghastly accidents in which the aircraft was involved. Many of the airlines went down and the Bac 1-11s were stored at airports around the country. Most notably in Benin, where derelict aircraft can still be seen around the old Okada Air hangar.
A comprehensive list of Bac 1-11 operators in Nigeria can be found here. All of them were second-hand aircraft, although in 1970 a Bac 1-11 was painted in Nigeria Airways colours for demonstration flights. The national carrier never ordered the aircraft.
Following the announcement that the Federal Government would acquire new aircraft for the presidential air fleet, three of the four planned aircraft have been ordered. The government will acquire two Falcon 7X jets, one G550 and a Hawker 4000XP to replace the current HS125, the GIV and the two Falcon 900s. Additionally, a third helicopter – an Agusta A 109E – will be added to the presidential air fleet.
Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, will reopen for limited daylight operations in December 2010. The airport was closed in February for extensive renovation and upgrade of the runway and facilities.
The Nigerian government also awarded a contract for the renovation and replacement of Air Traffic Control (ATC) consoles and Very High Frequency (VHF) radios in 13 ATC towers.
Update: the airport manager said that the airport will be re-opened by mid-December. No final decision has been taken though.
A few short updates:
- Aero has postponed plans to operate commercial flights from its Lagos private terminal, after protests from Bi-Courtney, the owner of MMA2.
- Air Nigeria will commence flights from Lagos to Kano via Abuja on 2 November 2010.
- The Nigerian Police took delivery of a new Bell 412 helicopter (5N-LEH) this week. It also operates 5N-KSH.
- The Bauchi State Embraer 145 (5N-BJM) is now leased to Associated Aviation.
- Biman Bangladesh was barred by its government from leasing a 26-year-old B742 from Kabo Air for the Hajj flights.
- A Gabon based airline called RegionAir now offers flights from Port Harcourt to Douala, Port Gentil, Pointe Noire and Luanda. The airline intends to add Calabar and Malabo to its network shortly.
- Reportedly, permission was granted to Asky Airlines to start flights from/to Lagos per 31 October 2010.
Arik Air will commence a two weekly service from Lagos to Abidjan, the economic centre of Cote d’Ivoire, on 28 October 2010. Flights will be operated on Tuesdays and Thursdays and are routed Lagos-Cotonou-Abidjan-Dakar-Abidjan-Cotonou-Lagos.
Update: Commencement of this service has been postponed.
President Jonathan yesterday commissioned the Total Radar Coverage for the Nigerian Airspace (TRACON) seven years after the contract for the project was signed. The project comprises four Primary Radar located in Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. TRACON also has five relay stations which serve as standalone Secondary Surveillance Radar located at Talata Mafara, Maiduguri, Numan, Obubra and Ilorin.
Med-View Airline has wet-leased two B767-300s (CS-TFS and CS-TFT) from EuroAtlantic Airways for this year’s Hajj operation.
MaxAir announced it will fly 36,000 pilgrims (43% of the total number) to Saudi Arabia this year, following the allocation by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). The airline will use its three B743 aircraft for the operation and keep a fourth as standby aircraft.
Kabo Air, Meridian Airlines and Medview Airline will be responsible for carrying the remaining Hajj pilgrims. Meridian and Medview will have to wet-lease aircraft for this end, while Kabo Air may employ its B742 aircraft.
EL AL is barred from flying to and from Nigeria by the Israeli security services, because of concerns that the airliner’s aircraft and crew will become terrorist targets. As a result of the decision the airline has canceled a series of flights planned to ferry thousands of Christian pilgrims to Israel and back to Nigeria for TAT Nigeria. The security ban applies to all Israeli airlines.
Arik Air has successfully passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which is an internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. Air Nigeria is the only other IOSA registered airline in Nigeria.
Update: The cited report is not quite correct, Arik Air still has some issues to solve.
Air Nigeria has announced that it will soon re-open the Lagos-Kano route and also commence direct flights between Abuja and Port Harcourt. The airline took delivery of its sixth B733 (5N-VNG) this week.