A few short updates:
- Arik Air has officially passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).
- Angry villagers near Kaduna Airport blocked an IRS Airlines aircraft from taking off to protest the closure of a footpath near the airport by the FAAN.
- The Federal Government has granted Kenya Airways permission to operate 14 flights a week into Lagos and four flights a week into Abuja. Meanwhile, the authorities still have to approve Ethiopian Airlines’ request to operate a B777-200LR on the Addis Ababa-Lagos route.
- Several projects are ongoing to improve the aviation infrastructure in Nigeria.
Dana Air announced it will resume flights from Lagos (twice daily) and Abuja (daily) to Port Harcourt per 28 March 2011.
- 9J347 LOS-PHC 07:20-08:39
- 9J346 PHC-LOS 09:18-10:35
- 9J345 LOS-PHC 16:20-17:37
- 9J344 PHC-LOS 18:00-19:20
- 9J1996 ABV-PHC 15:15-16:20
- 9J1997 PHC-ABV 16:55-17:55
The first aircraft ever landed at Asaba Airport on 23 March 2011. Overland Airways’ ATR42 (5N-BND) was chartered by the Delta State Government for the flight and carried the governor and other state officials. The visit to the airport was an election stunt. The airport terminal building is still far from complete and it will take at least a couple of months before commercial operations can commence at Asaba Airport.
The Federal Government awarded a N12 billion contract for the construction of a new international terminal at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, MAKIA. According to Aviation Minister, Fidelia Njeze, the current terminal is dilapidated and obsolete.
The domestic terminal at Kano Airport reportedly opened in November last year, after ten years of construction.
The International Aviation College, Ilorin, received its first trainer aircraft, a Diamond DA40, last week. For those interested, here are the contact details:
IAC Admission and Inquiries
Phone: +234 (0) 816 171 7817
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Website (inactive): www.iac-ng.com
For more information about the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Kaduna: http://www.ncat.gov.ng.
A Nigerian Air Force Chengdu F-7NI fighter aircraft crashed at Kano military airport killing the pilot. The aircraft failed to lift off from the runway the military flight school shares with Kano’s Mallam Aminu International Airport around 12:30. The plane crashed while still on the airport’s ground and immediately exploded. Click here for the press release from the NAF.
Arik Air has silently ceased its three weekly Abuja-Akure service. Akure airport is now no longer served by any airline.
Other news about Arik Air is that its A330-200 is still impounded and parked at Johannesburg. The Lagos-Johannesburg route is now operated with a B737-800.
In general, the airline appears not to be able or not willing to pay its bills as well as the salaries of its employees.
Arik Air has entered into a joint venture agreement with the government of Sierra Leone to start an new airline, Leone Airways, which will be the country’s national carrier. The airline will commence operations in July 2011 and wet-lease an B737-800 from Arik Air to operate the Freetown-London route. Hopefully, this enterprise will be more succesful than Arik Niger.
Kenya Airways announced it will commence direct flights between Nairobi and Abuja per July 2011. The flight schedule is not yet released.
Arik Air’s early morning flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos was disrupted this morning by a bomb scare. A passenger received a text message during boarding at the airport that an explosive was planted in the aircraft. The threat proved to be false after a search of the aircraft and re-screening of the passengers.
Arik Air announced a three weekly direct Kano-Enugu service starting on 1 April 2011. Flights are operated on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with a B737-700.
- W3405 KAN-ENU 14:35-15:55
- W3406 ENU-KAN 16:25-17:45
Evergreen Apple (EAN) is a Lagos-based company, led by Segun Demuren, that provides various services for private and corporate aircraft owners. In collaboration with NAC of South Africa, the company also offers aircraft maintenance. Furthermore, EAN hopes to provide helicopter services in cooperation with HeliPortugal.
Air Mali will start three weekly flights from Bamako to Accra and Lagos per 1 April 2011. Air Burkina will codeshare on this route.