Air Nigeria grounded by NCAA

Air Nigeria’s flight operations are suspended by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the second time in two weeks time. Last week the airline was grounded for safety inspections after a strike action. Today, the NCAA decided to ground the airline with immediate effect over indications that the airline is in financial distress. Air Nigeria’s Managing Director was arrested last Monday by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over the airline’s failure to pay taxes amounting to N4.86 billion over five years and for forging a Tax Clearance Certificate. Air Nigeria’s chairman, Jimoh Ibrahim, is also accused of misusing money from the Aviation Intervention Fund to support his other businesses.

Air Nigeria operates eleven aircraft and operates mainly domestic and regional flights from Lagos. It’s the third airline to shut down this month: Dana Air was grounded after a crash of one of its aircraft and FirstNation Airways had to stop all its operations as its whole fleet requires mandatory maintenance checks.

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24 responses to “Air Nigeria grounded by NCAA”

  1. Capt Fantastic says :

    associated airlines have also temporarily suspended flight operations.

  2. the truth says :

    Bar jimoh ibrahim is not just fit to run any business. He is the devil incarnate.

  3. Anonymous says :

    Bet Arik rubbing their hands and counting the mone

    • Lagos Airport Forum says :

      What money?
      Let the likes of Ryanair, Southwest & Co be allowed in here to make these local operators sit up and help raise the overall performance levels, abeg. Nigerians are tired!

      • Lagos Airport Forum says :

        They should be after gains coming largely from their own competence and competitiveness than what the competition is doing.
        Just a little twitchy about the local champion thing, that’s all.

  4. Frank says :

    Jimoh is an animal, that has no business running an airline

  5. Alaba Bham says :

    Thought I read that Stelios (Founder, Easy Jet) has plans for low cost carrier in Nigeria?

  6. Anonymous says :

    Somehow, the present state of these airlines beats every worst case scenario imagined in a post-WT era. The situation today isn’t as good as WT was at its best in terms of network connectivity and maybe even service.
    I think they all need to go on compulsory airline operations and management training.
    Not impressed nor amused.

  7. Aviation in Nigeria says :

    Jimoh Ibrahim bankrolled Jonathan’s last election campaign, but his political ties don’t appear to be of great use at the moment. But Arik Air was very much in the same situation two years ago, when their MD was arrested for tax evasion.

    Nigerian Airways’ managers were not better than the current managers (read here: https://groups.google.com/group/soc.culture.nigeria/browse_thread/thread/cbb86d2d0c5f22ad/2d1698c0e4025729?fwc=1&hl=id). Establishing a new national airline again would be a disaster for Nigerian tax-payers: it would be run by people from the current commercial airlines and a waste of money. None of the government institutions is run efficiently, so why assume that they can run an airline in a proper way?

    • Anonymous says :

      The report didin’t cover the better period(s) in the ’70s and the early ’80s, KLM-managed dispensation. It would be good to know more organizational details on why things went better/good enough in those brief periods of glimmers of hope and promise, when it was run close to normal. But admitedly, those periods were not anywhere near enough.

      The issue with the current crop of operators is their nagging tendency to do things ‘Nigerian style’, making their private status more often than not merely a label and a formality.
      When do we expect Arik et al to actually develop into world leading outfits (not 2nd or 3rd division or lower) if they keep on going the way they are currently run? The grace still enjoyed is the fact that all other regional neighbours aren’t up and doing either, so there’s still room to get it right.

      Maybe a hybrid solution will prove the better option.
      But it would require definite, extensive R & D approach to find this out
      For now, there will be no ‘champions league’ for some time to come.

      • Aviation in Nigeria says :

        The circumstances in the 70s and 80s were so different that it’s difficult to make comparisons – fewer flights, fewer passengers, infrastructure was basic then too, and WT wasn’t profitable either. But instead of longing back for the ‘golden age’, the airlines/passengers should rather focus on the future.

  8. Alaba Bham says :

    @5- Its called Fastjet and Stelios has 5% in it but you are right the hub will be Ghana.
    @6- Many airline staff have aviation management training. Problem is when we add our potent mix of corruption and nepotism, the final brew is the mess we have. Lets be careful how we praise WT with hindsight. WT was all about public money, it could buy new aircraft supported by government guarantees (at one point WT staff/ aircraft ratio was 550:1!) . It was big, unwieldy and hugely corrupt with no accountabilities built in hence planes being seized globally and others rotting away.
    We also went through that period of unfettered deregulation and flaunting of many safety rules in the 1980s which brought in the Okada Airs (imagine if Okada had been asked to submit their business, financial and maintenance models before being approved for operations!), Kabo Airs, Oriental (with their Tupolevs!), cargo carriers galore. Professionally, my model airline of choice is Aero. Maybe their growth hasnt been spectacular over these 50 years but it has been measured and seemingly thought out.

    • Anonymous says :

      @8
      Yeah, it’s all got to be looked at in well defined contexts. It’s hard to filter out the real WT and good work done by is pedigree professionals, whose genuine efforts ended up effectively cancelled out by the several negative practices highlighted, making the overall poor picture harder to assess.

      When Aero is mentioned. obviously one has to also look at dispensations as well.
      They also have issues, but in its latest incarnation as a fully Nigerian owned outfit. we hope they can keep it together continue improving steadily in the coming period..

  9. Anonymous says :

    Indeed, less doucumentation available to make extensive comparisons.
    No romance/nostalgia implied by any means, however, there could still be a reasonable bunch of ex WT folk out there who enjoyed reasonable careers and may argue they had it better than their contemporaries today, but of course, the focus should be on the future, starting now.

    Transport and planning research and developmet, from multidiciplinary angles is a good place to start and CONTINUE.
    Inadequacies on this front are in no small part the cause of the problems encountered. Developing a culture that fosters innovation along with this will prove useful in the long term, not just nationally.

    When one looks at the case with the EU operators to NGR, examine the individual carriers and then the collective strength as a result of the various policy, technical, management and other backbones and structures responsible for their performance, it’s like we’re not even in the game nor on the bench but somewhere watching from the stands (if not watching at home on television) :-)

    Maybe scenarios to consider should include tackling this at a national and ECOWAS level since in the end, one or two serious airline in among the bunche in the region would still not be enough overall.

    Well, nothing to lose sleep over but it only means lots of exciting opportunities to positively turn things around.
    Have a nice day guys.

  10. Alaba Bham says :

    Anon, I agree with you on so many levels. To form a powerful lobby group with clout would be central. Maybe we should share best and indeed worst pratice we have seen on our travels via this site.
    Does anyone remember the Isreali led airline that operated from Ilorin some years ago? It tried to maintain departures ontime regardless of late arriving VIPs. A then state governor forced its flights to be delayed at gunpoint as he was going to be late. The Israelis pulled out shortly thereafter.
    Flying WT to New York in 1979, I was one of only 9 passengers on a DC10-30. The combined airfare wouldnt have paid the landing fee at JFK.

  11. Alaba Bham says :

    Scintillating read and takes me back perusing that old Nigerian Airways management report from the late 1990s. Imagine having a report with a section titled ‘Strange Happenings’!. Ha .

    • Anonymous says :

      In another sense the report provides insightful list of what to design against, whicjh todays array of operators can learn from.

  12. Anonymous says :

    Anon
    Regarding the surveys, it would be good to publish the data after analysis which is the case of Arik was disappointing. As always people need an incentive to complete surveys, maybe some freebies or a competition.

    • Anonymous says :

      !2. Theoretically more than enogh domestic passengers to sample from. Maybe it’s simply a case of not enough awareness or perhaps a cultural thing.
      Frankly, Do you see folks easily doing a similar survey for Mr Biggs, Chicken Republic or the food is ready down the street, if it exists? Or the Telcos like Glo and MTN?

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