Air Nigeria loses aircraft to lessor

Air Nigeria confirmed that GECAS has repossessed four B737-300s (5N-VNC, 5N-VND, 5N-VNE and 5N-VNJ, but not 5N-VNG) it leased to the airline. Also, the airline’s website went offline earlier this week. Air Nigeria continues to operate its four-weekly Lagos-London service.

Air Nigeria’s press statement:

Subsequent to the temporary suspension of Air Nigeria’s regional and domestic flight operations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), our lessors have been requesting to repossess some of the aircraft in our fleet and we are fully cooperating to return their aircraft. GECAS, one of our lessors, is already in the process of calling back four of their Boeing 737-300 aircraft and Air Nigeria is fully cooperating in line with the Cape Town Convention to expedite the repossession process. Air Nigeria plans to acquire state-of-the-art aircraft to fill the reduction in capacity and is currently finalizing plans to resume normal flight operations across the regional and domestic routes as soon as possible. We would also like to inform that the scheduled Lagos – London – Lagos flight operation is not affected by the temporary suspension directive of the NCAA and passengers are therefore encouraged to proceed with their confirmed itinerary while intending customers can make their reservations.



12 responses to “Air Nigeria loses aircraft to lessor”

  1. Anonymous says :

    Aerocontractors is rumored to have acquired two of these machines.
    Also the international operations has been grounded. A332 SU-GCI has been parked at the international wing of MMIA for over a week now.
    Also most of their pilots have left for the competition (the Ghanians have gone back home), so they can’t even resume reasonable operations if ther AOC is restored.

  2. Anonymous says :

    I am glad that the whole fiasco was useful in preventing another avoidable accident, and if AN was not in good shape to operate as a flag carrier, then their exit is a good omen for improvements and consolidation of worthy carriers. I see Aero merging with a few smaller carriers to form a strong competitor balancing Arik Air. All in all, Nigeria doesn’t need more than say 3 operators of jet aircraft, with room for a few regional turboprop carriers like Overland, etc. I guess those who doubted Jimoh Ibrahim were right…

  3. Anonymous says :

    3 operators still seems too many. Why not have Aero merge with Arik?

    • Alaba Bham says :

      How many aviation mergers have taken place in Nigeria?

      • Anonymous says :

        Wouldn’t that be zero (0)?

        By the way, besides the mergers of the banks during the banking shakeup (which was externally imposed) hardly any notable mergers as strategic partnerships and synergizing is yet to catch on in the business culture.

        For the airlines, the ball remain in their court to explore opportunities to collaborate with one another, especially given the Nigerian market situation.

    • Aviation in Nigeria says :

      You need diversity. If Arik Air would become the sole major carrier in Nigeria, the result will inevitably be high fares, poor service. Even if a (highly unlikely) merger happens, eventually new airlines will emerge to fill the gap left by carriers such as Air Nigeria and Dana Air.

      • Alaba Bham says :

        I think both Dana (the crash might just be an accident which has nothing to do with failures of management and maintenance systems) and Arik will still remain relevant for some time. Aero seem cautious against rapid expansion.Their comfort zone could be taken apart if a true low cost carrier emerges, not from a merger but a new kid on the block. Financing like everything else is key. RyanAir went from a sole Banderainte in 1985 to 294 planes today with revenues of over 3 Billion Euros. EasyJet founded 1995 now 200 Airbus family planes. The former has allegedly sharp business practices in keeping costs down and pilot training.

      • Anonymous says :

        Diversity is welcome when travel market demographics begin to weigh a lot more than it does right now.

        Diversity would have to have a strong qualitative emphasis so we don’t end up with the cosmetic version, where we may a nice headcount of operators without much real benefit to the end users eventually.

        Perhaps there’s a sweet spot or magic number of operators per current market size per whatever relevant parameter that may apply, but for now, with all that’s been going on these past years, that number isn’t big.

        Lufthansa ran a magazine ad in the 70’s quote: “Afterall, Boeing and Douglas are used by everyone. It’s service that counts.”

        In the Nigerian case, one can argue that besides perhaps the new buys from W3, not much separates them from the others in equipment.

        Service? Well, we know all too well that a lot can be improved across the board. No award winners in my books there.

  4. Greg says :

    I thought you knowledgeable gentlemen would have known by now that we are too egotistic to accept mergers of most sorts in this country.

    Just think: the late Dan Kabo, or Alhaji Chanchangi accept the possibility of their airplanes emblazoned with names other than theirs’ ? No way!

    Outright acquisitions may not fare better; when a certain tycoon from the northwest tried to enter the market with a B727-200 sometime in 1996, Kabo, who reportedly had Abacha’s ear, snapped up the same jet in a piece of maneuvering fit for a Hollywood movie. Why couldn’t they have worked out something amicable? Say, like Kabo buys out the new guy’s outfit? Then, everyone would have gone home happy.

    I think, simply put, our socio-cultural milieu does not accept mergers, at least not for now

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