This week’s update

A few updates:

  • Arik Air is planning to float the company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange Market (NSE), meaning that it will become a publicly quoted company.
  • A rescue worker tasked with recovery of the black box of Dana Air’s crashed MD-83 claims that it was found in good condition. This contradicts the AIB report that the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) melted in the post-crash fire.
  • The NCAA has begun to re-certify Dana Air’s MD83s. The airline is in talks with Boeing to acquire B737s in order to replace its current fleet.
  • Boeing has promised that it will assist Nigeria with setting up a MRO facility and it will establish a Boeing Training Hub in Nigeria.
  • Arik Air has concluded a new agreement with Lufthansa Technik (LHT) over expanding their support partnership for its B737s and CRJ900s.
  • Kabo Air signed a deal with GMF to maintain its fleet of 3xB747-200 and 1xB747-400 for the next three years.
  • The Federal Government plans to remove import duties on the importation of aircraft and spares.
  • Osun State has awarded a contract for the fencing of Ido-Osun Airport, which is currently under construction.
  • Bayelsa State has relocated the site for a new Yenagoa Airport. The new site is located in Kolokuma/Opokuma, Yenagoa and Southern Ijaw LGAs. The soil conditions at the old location were not suitable for heavy construction work, according to the State Government.

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21 responses to “This week’s update”

  1. Alaba says :

    Lets wait for due diligence by Delloitte regarding Arik. Would Arik allow its books and management practices to be subject to probity? If it was to go public, how many shares would it offer? Less than 50% for sure. Few, if any Nigerian airlines can be confident of scrutiny.

  2. Alaba says :

    Hope Dana have been starting up the engines on the MDs periodically, APUs’ fired up, hydraulics recycled and critically, air data instrumentation covered up during the period of inactivity.

  3. skywalker says :

    I hope they carry on with the Boeing 737’s That should be good for the employment market for our flight crew and good also for PR.

  4. LAF says :

    SAA read of today.

    Not doing too well financially as the article indicates.

  5. Anonymous says :

    Float Arik, how much control would current owners give up?

  6. Alaba says :

    For those (myself included on occasion) who wax whimsically about the ‘good old’ days of Nigeria Airways, have a read of a report on the airline from 1969..yup..43 years ago. Fraud, mismanagement et al…

    • LAF says :

      A nice read. The Foxtrot Golf should be reding read this stuff. Over GBP 500,000 profit must have been good money at the time before dodgy practices took their toll. That Nigeria Airways airline was actually profitable at a point and going places financially is a welcome surprise.

      Dug around the archives a bit and found this Airbus ad. Cute marketing for the period.

      Of course, while Nigeria Airways isn’t the only African airline in there, it’s still nice how the only black lady stands out and does our heritage a world of good.

      Alaba, can you decipher the arrangement of the air hostesses in the lineup? Without spying on the order list, it looks like Airbus went for logic and arranged the customers in roughly chronological order of their orders (what a strange sentence). That makes sense, and Nigeria Airways was one of the earliest A310 delveries if not the first in Africa.

      • Alaba says :

        LAF, you are right WT had the first of the African A310-200 followed by Kenyan with the -300s. SA had the first of the A300s in the mid 70s.
        In the early 80s, I know Boeing and Airbus Industrie lobbied the government and the Airline Pilots and FE assoc hard but would be nice to know what swung it finally for Airbus (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). WT could have gone for the 757 / 767.
        Ethiopian, probably the best run African airline has remained in the Boeing camp soley since 1945.

  7. LAF says :

    Besidesthe obvious $$ (don’t know the eventual price of the deal), could there have been some influence form the KLM mangement period? Record on the network and planning of the time would be good to have to help reconstruct the scenarios.

    The A310s were nothing short of cool back then, and were enjoyed both on abord and from the airport as a viewer: full Nigerian crew, good service. Had things been run better, the planes should hav been phased out for better machines in a similar way LH, SR and KL did theirs.

    But I see a Boeing revival on the horizon, just don’t know how things would pan out yet.

  8. ishaya David says :

    it’s a wellcome development

  9. Greg says :

    Alaba and LAF, the first A310 operators in Africa were Air Algerie. They got two dash 200s, which they wet-leased to Libyan Arab some years later. This was shortly after Ethiopian took delivery of the first of its two 767-200ERs in June ’84. I was still smarting from the gloating in Addis Ababa over the 767 delivery, when Algeria’s A310s came. Why? Because I still have a Guardian newspaper clipping I saved in summer ’83. One of our A310s had been completed and was taking off in a test flight in Toulouse. Kool black and white shot. The newspaper lamented the Fed Govt’s inability to meet its financial obligations, hence the refusal of Airbus to release 5N-AUE and AUF. It was at the end of ’84, that Capt Olumide Lawal and other local gentlemen flew in the two jets to Lagos, well over a year late. I saw that one in an NTA news broadcast

    • LAF says :

      Really? So In other words, NAL blew it or can we call it failure to launch? Kindly highlight what you kow on the effect of this delay on the network operations till the palnes finally arrived. There were a string odd leases around that period one can’t quite figure out.

      And of course, whae you’re up to it, scan that cutout. A subtle hint to get steaming with digitizing such valuables.

  10. Greg says :

    LAF, NAL didn’t blow anything, Fed Govt did. In an interview with a small air travel magazine in 2008, former NAL PR guy Chris Aligbe said the FG used to buy airplanes and hand them over to NAL, at least in the seventies. I’ll re-visit the clipping, but if I recall correctly, NAL was to a large extent ready to operate them, in ’83. Two, three years into A310 service though, Ethiopian 767 technicians in Lagos griped that NAL’s preparation for the jets, engineering capability-wise, was scandalous: we failed to take advantage of Airbus programs to train our techs, or at least enough of them, on the new jets, so that, Airbus hands were brought in to augment ours’, certainly at NAL’s expense. By 1989 though, NAL hands were apparently in control. (2) Sorry, I don’t know much on the effect on the network, the delay caused. Route planning couldn’t seriously have took in London, which the two DC10s and on-again, off-again 747 leases served well. I recall the jets flew Enugu, Kaduna, Maiduguri, PH and I suppose, Kano. It was when the downward spiral was underway, and the Ilorin DC 10 had crashed, that A310s turned up in Rome and London. (3) NAL’s wet lease record would form the basis of a best-seller, and of course it was often at cost to NAL. GPA grew on the back of NAL’s hopeless wet lease of six 732s between 1980 and 1985/6. Today, it’s a multi billion Dollar corp whereas in NAL’s days, it was little more than an obscure firm with a handful of jets and pilots looking to fly for jet-strapped carriers. (4) I’ll be in Lagos and visit the airport sometime next month, and I’ll bring the cutting and other interesting photos. Pls reach me on 0704 250 3055

  11. Alaba says :

    You’d have to be the best forensic accountant in the planet to figure out all the leases from that period. Didnt NAL also lose millions to ATR as deposits on the 42s or 72a it ordered and didnt follow through on? It would be easy to blame incompetency, I think we have many sharp minds.
    I thought the first Air Algerie’s A310s were wet leases?

    • LAF says :

      Indeed. G is also stands for for genius. It’s now clear how the four A310 could be delivered together. Another handy help could be the Janes records from the period.
      Did the Federal influence affect with the should have been production ending D10 replacement for 5N-ANR Was destined to become 5N-AUI and the last widebody attempt with the no-deal MD-11?

      Just realized there’s no simple timeline of all this. A potential project to put this in a visual illustration.

      One can also lay a national historical timeline underneath all this and it really shows clearly how the era of the men in uniform the rapid NAL: decline in the 80’s.

      Greg, thanks for the info. Send a mail to so I can push some stuff across.

  12. Naijajet says :

    Initially the A 310’s flew mainly the LOS – PHC, LOS -KAN- SKO/MIU, WEST Coast, then later LHR, FIH and LOS- ABV/KAD.

  13. Greg says :

    Alaba, NAL lost good money on the ATR deal, but the tragedy of it and other issues is the struggle to be a true nation, which we have been failing at. Take the turnover of NAL CEOs in the 84-94 period, never mind Ministers, who to the man had their own designs on NAL and what it was meant to be. Just think what the change of leadership could have done to strategy, policies, planning and even mere 5-year plans? There was Banfa, Okpere, Bajowa, I think Gana, a certain Muhamed, all military people, then, a businessman from Ilorin. Before Gana was the insider late Eng Agum, who inspired his colleagues to keep aloft some seven jets and seemed about to establish a whole new era, before he was shown out too (of course). A 1991 or 92 issue of Tell magazine suggests that the highest office in the land made raw Dollars off a brilliant plan by the NAL Task Force chair, rtd AVM Bello, to repair two B707s for cargo service, so that NAL could earn precious forex. The jets were ferried to Ireland alright, but they were left to rot away, and remain there till the Lord comes. Given the fact that in many respects we are still trying to find our way as a people, even the top brass who disgraced Bello, begins to look forgivable to me.
    The A310s 5N-AUG and AUH were flown in, early 1985. Prominent crews then were Capt Gibson “Gipsy” Machaunga, Abdrahman Muhammed and later, John Idoko and Prince Page, a Liberian

    • LAF says :

      It’s all making sense. For the enlightenment: Respect.

      • Alaba says :

        Lest we forget, that period was not only about NAL. It also heralded ‘deregulation’ or in some instances a lax oversight period. Okada came in with its menagerie of aircraft from the Shorts through the ubiquitous BAC 111s to their 747s. Some guys went into the captain’s seat of these airlines with just under 3000 hrs total. Remember Oriental for their launch having to use a catering truck to get passengers off their Tupolev as the standard stairs had no settings for the TU 154?. All kinds of stories like these abounded.
        The 80s also heralded the rise of the private cargo airlines (you remember them Greg?), many with just the one DC8 or 707 cargo. Pilot investors put money together, went to an auction somewhere in a desert in the US to buy the plane, flew hours on the thing like crazy to recoup purchase costs before it was due a D Check. Many cut corners in maintenance and fuel management sadly with engines falling off and fuel exhaustions.

  14. Greg says :

    Ouch! Self inflicted black eye: (1)”Tell” magazine referred to, above, actually was Newswatch (April 1991), and it detailed the complex financing of repairs/hush kitting for a pair of NAL 707s.(2)My allegation that our big boys embezzeled funds meant for the repairs is elsewhere, but since I fail to locate the source now, pls ignore it.(3)The 707 work was never paid for, and the rotting jets remain in Dublin (probably an Aer Lingus facility). Photos of them are available on airliners .net

  15. Greg says :

    Alaba, I remember the cargo operators alright. It was fuel exhaustion that did in the GAS cargo 707 that crashed in a school field in Cairo, in ’87 or 88, although the crew was coming from original (distant) destination Nairobi, which had bad weather. The crew, an experienced bunch fresh from NAL, and one or two loaders all perished, sadly. Thankfully, the perception is that NCAA has raised the safety bar a bit higher than that era’s.

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