Archive | November 2010

Correction: Arik Air Q400s

Despite indications that Arik Air accepted a third Dash 8-Q400s, it appears that the aircraft is probably sold on to another operator. It was pictured in basic Arik Air colours but without titles on a ferry flight to Mumbai. Consequently, Arik Air still only has two Q400s.

Update: the aircraft was used by Bombardier for a demo-tour.

Arik Air To Reopen Uyo Routes on November 29?

According to the latest information, Arik Air will recommence its suspended daily flights from Abuja and Lagos to Akwa Ibom Airport, Uyo, on November 29.

One of the airline’s B737-700s (5N-MJI) returned to Lagos from Southend this week after months of storage and overhaul.

Arik Air Intends Service To Houston By Mid-2011

Arik Air applied with the US Department of Transportation to commence a three weekly service from Lagos to New York and Houston in 2011. It is likely that Arik Air will extend its current New York JFK service to Houston rather than institute a second direct Lagos-Houston flight. The airline intends to use its own aircraft, meaning that the A345s will no longer be operated by HiFly. According to the application, Arik Air contracted Iberia Maintenance to maintain its Airbus fleet.

United Airlines To Lagos From 12 December 2010

United Airlines today announced the schedule for the airline’s new service between Washington and Lagos, beginning December 12, 2010. The flight will depart Washington Dulles International Airport daily at 10:43 p.m., arriving at Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport at 5:35 p.m. the next day after a stop in Accra, Ghana. U.S.-bound service from Lagos begins December 13 with the departure of United 991 at 9:30 p.m. After a stop in Accra, the flight will arrive in Washington the next day at 6:11 a.m. Flights to Lagos will be operated with Boeing 767 aircraft, featuring United’s International Premium Travel Experience.

Air Nigeria And Ethiopian Codeshare Agreement

Air Nigeria and Ethiopian Airlines have signed a codeshare agreement, which enables Air Nigeria passengers to travel between Lagos and Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airlines flights. The agreement will enhance the existing air services between Lagos and the Middle East, Asia, East and South Africa. The agreement follows-up the network wide codeshare and interline agreement between Nigerian Eagle Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines last year.

Arik Air’s Third Dash8-Q400 Finally Delivered

Arik Air accepted its third Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 (5N-BKW; ex-C-FXAW). The aircraft will arrive at Lagos this week, after storage at Toronto for more than a year. The airline ordered four Dash 8-Q400s in 2007.

According to Boeing’s database, Arik Air still has 15 B738s, 5 B773ERs and 7 B789s on order, but no deliveries are foreseen in the near future.

Air Nigeria Adds Two B733s

Air Nigeria will take delivery of two B737-300s (registered 5N-VNK and 5N-VNL) this week. Both are pretty old aircraft (ex-Fischer Air aircraft), now owned by Aersale, and were stored at Prague/Bucharest for the past years.

With the latest addition of the two Boeings, Air Nigeria now operates a fleet that consists of eight B733s and two EMB190s. The airline will increase its fleet with another five aircraft in the first half of next year. Air Nigeria also plans to build a modern aircraft maintenance facility to undertake major aircraft Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) in Nigeria.

Picture Of FirstNation Airways’ First A320

The successor of Bellview Airlines, an airline called FirstNation Airways, will soon commence operations in Nigeria with A320 and B767 equipment. Here is a picture of the first A320 (N409AG):

FirstNation Airways - A320

FirstNation is to lease three former Gulf Air A320s (5N-FNA, serial 409; 5N-FNB, serial 466; and 5N-FNC, serial 497) from Aviation Capital Group. For more information:

Arik Air Resumes Abuja-Akure And Abuja-Ilorin

Arik Air will resume flights from Abuja to Akure (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) on 8 November 2010. The Lagos-Akure service remains suspended.

Update: Despite the announcement made by Arik Air earlier, the airline also retained a three weekly Abuja-Ilorin-Abuja service (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) according to their spokesman. Flights can be booked on Arik’s website.

Arik Air: Four Years In The Skies

On the occasion of Arik Air’s fourth year anniversary, the following announcements were made:

  • The airline has up to date carried 5.8million passengers and has over 40 per cent of the traffic share in Nigeria.
  • The airline has invested over $6.1 billion in acquisitions and orders in the past four years.
  • The airline is awaiting approval from the Federal Government to develop the GAT terminal that will be owned by government and operated by FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria).
  • The airline promoted Chris Ndulue from acting Managing Director to MD.
  • The airline will provide charter services for Christian pilgrims to Israel.

The following routes will be introduced/cancelled this month:

  • Re-introduction of Garden City Express (daily Lagos-Port Harcourt NAF Base-Abuja flights) per 1 November.
  • Re-Introduction of daily Lagos-Uyo-Abuja flights per 15 November.
  • Akure and Ilorin are dropped as destinations.
  • Arik Air intends to start a three weekly service between Port Harcourt NAF Base and Benin (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays) later this month.
  • Upcoming are also new regional routes to Abidjan, Bamako and Ouagadougou.