- FirstNation Airways plans to restart operations in 2013 with ‘younger’ aircraft.
- DHL Express will base a B737-400 freighter aircraft at Lagos for domestic cargo operations.
- The remodelling of Port Harcourt Airport will be ready in two months according to FAAN.
- The World Bank handed over the newly completed perimeter fence at Abuja Airport to FAAN.
- The Nigerian Air Force ordered nine Russian helicopters for surveillance purposes. It was also announced that the NAF aims to refurbish three Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
- Bridgewater Academy is now a IATA recognised training centre.
The Federal Government has concluded the arrangements with Chinese investors and construction companies for the construction of five new passenger terminals and six new cargo terminals. The deal is part of the second phase of the Aviation Road Map of the Ministry of Aviation. New international terminals as well as cargo terminals will be built at Abuja, Enugu, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt, while Asaba is the sixth airport to get a cargo terminal. Work on the new terminals will commence in December 2012 and should be completed within nineteen months.
Jos Airport has also been designated as a cargo airport by the Federal Government. The airport is currently being refurbished as part of the first phase of the airport remodelling exercise.
Meanwhile, travellers are complaining about the new GA terminal at Lagos Airport. The terminal was inaugurated before being completed and delivered by the contractor, ArchiVisual Solutions. For example, the air conditioning and conveyor belts are not yet functional.
The Federal Government has entered negotiations with Embraer for the acquisition of new aircraft for the domestic carriers. According to the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. George Uriesi:
Domestic carriers use wrong equipment for most of their operations. There is no established record of sustainability for these airlines mainly because of the use of wrong equipment. Intervention fund by the Federal Government in the past to assist them re-fleet has failed because there was no evidence of the money being ploughed back into the airlines leading to them failing in the long run. Government wants to change this model entirely by floating a fund for the acquisition of new aircraft for the domestic carriers. In this regard, government is seeking a partnership with Embraer that will lead to a discussion on how these new aircraft will be procured at very competitive, fair, and concessionary rates.
The aircraft will be financed with a N80 billion loan from China:
The Federal Government may have borrowed $500 million (N80 billion) to buy the 30 brand new aircraft it planned to give to 10 domestic airlines as fresh intervention in the aviation industry. [T]he government borrowed the N80 billion from a Chinese bank. Stella Oduah, Aviation Minister, had said that she was not happy with the way the first N300 billion intervention fund was disbursed and spent, adding that the only way to save the industry from imminent collapse was to quickly intervene again.
On another note: the two ex-Air Nigeria EMB190s, owned by UBA, are still stored at Lagos Airport. Perhaps the Ministry of Aviation could acquire those first?
In general, air safety in Nigeria has improved since the major crashes in 2005-2006, but still a number of serious incidents in which lives are lost and/or an aircraft is written off occur every year. Not all of them are reported in the press, and only three (the Sosoliso, Wings Aviation and Dana Air crashes) are mentioned on the website of the Accident Investigation Bureau.
- 27 OCT 2012 – 5N-??? – Bell 206L4 – Pan African Airlines – offshore
- 25 OCT 2012 – 5N-BMJ – Cessna 208B Grand Caravan – Private owner – Yola
- 03 JUN 2012 – 5N-RAM – McDonnell Douglas MD-83 – Dana Air – Lagos*
- ?? ??? 2012 – 5N-CAG – Beech 58 Baron – NCAT – Zaria
- ?? ??? 2011 – 5N-BMM – Cessna 560XLS Citation Excel – Pan African Airlines – Port Harcourt
- 28 JUL 2011 – 5N-BKA – AS 350B2 Ecureuil – OAS Helicopters – Ikonifin
- 24 MAY 2011 – N364UZ – Beechcraft King Air C90 – Shawa Engineering – Kaduna
- 11 DEC 2009 – 5N-BKJ – Aerospatiale AS 332L1 Super Puma – Bristow Nigeria – offshore
- 09 OCT 2009 – 5N-BIC – Bell 407 – Gitto Construction – Uyo
- 22 JUL 2008 – 5N-CAV – Socata TB9 Tampico – NCAT – Zaria
- 15 MAR 2008 – 5N-JAH – Beechcraft 1900D – Wings Aviation – Besi*
- 03 AUG 2007 – 5N-BIQ – Bell 412EP – Bristow Nigeria – Eket
- 10 NOV 2006 – 5N-BHU – AS 350B2 Ecureuil – OAS Helicopters – Warri
- 29 OCT 2006 – 5N-BFK – Boeing 737-200 – ADC Airlines – Abuja
- 10 DEC 2005 – 5N-BFD – Douglas DC-9 – Sosoliso Airlines – Port Harcourt*
- 28 NOV 2005 – N73MW – Beechcraft Super King Air 200 – Oriental Energy Resources – Kaduna
- 22 OCT 2005 – 5N-BFN – Boeing 737-200 – Bellview Airlines – Lagos
Incidents involving security agencies:
- 05 JUL 2012 – 5N-BKS – Diamond DA42MPP – PICOMSS – Benin
- 02 MAY 2012 – NAF??? – Chengdu F-7Ni – Nigerian Air Force – Kaduna
- 14 MAR 2012 – 5N-POL – Bell 427 – Nigerian Police – Jos
- 28 OCT 2011 – NAF??? – Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros – Nigerian Air Force – Uyo
- 11 MAY 2011 – NAF??? – Chengdu FT-7Ni – Nigerian Air Force – Gboko
- 22 MAR 2011 – NAF??? – Chengdu F-7Ni – Nigerian Air Force – Kano
- 12 MAR 2010 – NAF950 – Aeritalia G.222 – Nigerian Air Force – Port Harcourt
- 26 JAN 2010 – NN06 – Agusta A109E Power – Nigerian Navy – Port Harcourt
- 28 MAY 2009 – NAF054 – Van’s RV-6A – Nigerian Air Force – Jaji
- 20 APR 2007 – NN?? – Agusta A109E Power – Nigerian Navy – Owerri
- 17 SEP 2006 – NAF033 – Dornier Do228 – Nigerian Air Force – Vende Ikya
A quiet week:
- NAMA has switched to an automated flight plan system on 15 November 2012.
- The Ministry of Aviation revoked its agreement with Lufthansa. Since 2008, the airline was exempt of royalties, as long as it assisted the Federal Government in developing a MRO-facility.
- The National Assembly joint committee on Aviation has written a report on state of the aviation industry.
- Nigeria and Pakistan will sign a Bilateral Air Service Agreement.
- The Federal Government has ordered a Cessna Citation Sovereign as an air ambulance for NEMA.
- The Federal Government has spent N15 billion on an upgrade of navigational aids, according to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
- The Federal Government has approved a sum of N13.9 billion for a terminal building, control tower and power house at Yenagoa Airport, Bayelsa State.
- IRS Airlines was ordered by a court to pay N2 million to a customer, in compensation for a cancelled flight between Abuja and Yola.
- Has anyone heard about this new project: Discovery Air?
- So far, 87 corporate and private jets based in Nigeria have been identified. But according to the Ministry of Aviation, there are over a hundred business jets in the country. Therefore, any help with identifying the remaining ones is appreciated.
Dornier Aviation Nigeria (DANA), Kaduna, has been leasing a Do328 (5N-DOW) to Punto Azul since last year. The Equatorial Guinean airline operates domestic flights, as well as a two weekly service from Malabo to Port Harcourt. Flights are on Monday and Thursday, schedule:
- DAV302 Malabo-Port Harcourt 11:00-11:55
- DAV303 Port Harcourt-Malabo 13:00-13:55
DANA also maintains the two Do228s belonging to Sao Tomé-based carrier, Africa’s Connection. The Gabonese airline, RegionAir, that briefly served Port Harcourt from Port Gentil in 2010, is no longer flying to Nigeria.
Asky Airlines has added Bangui to its two-weekly Lomé-Lagos-Douala routing. The Togolese airline now operates the following direct services from/to Nigeria, apart from the indirect services via Lomé:
- KP34 Lagos-Douala-Bangui 16:15-17:50 / 18:35-20:40 (Thursday and Sunday)
- KP35 Lagos-Lomé 12:25-12:30 (Monday and Friday)
- KP40 Lagos-Libreville-Kinshasa 1610-18:15 / 18:55-20:45 (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
- KP41 Lagos-Lomé 12:40-12:30 (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
- KP44 Lagos-Douala-Brazzaville 16:10-17:50 / 18:30-20:30 (Tuesday and Friday)
- KP45 Lagos-Lomé 12:40-12:30 (Wednesday and Saturday)
- KP32 Abuja-Niamey 17:20-18:50 (Thursday and Sunday)
- KP33 Abuja-Lomé 11:35-12:05 (Monday and Friday)
Other (newly established) West African airlines, such as Air Côte d’Ivoire, Douniah Airlines, Fly540, Gambia Bird Airlines, Senegal Airlines, and Starbow Airlines, have all expressed their intention to commence flights to Nigeria too.
A few bits of news:
- An interesting read: ‘Benefits of Air Transport in Nigeria‘.
- The NCAA has directed the domestic airlines to install the AFIRS system on their aircraft within six months, meanwhile almost all airports, including runway at Lagos Airport used for domestic flights, lack functional runway lighting.
- NAMA has ordered a Beechcraft King Air 350 for its Navigational Aids Flight Inspection and Surveillance (NAFIS), as the HS 125-700 (5N-AVK) caliberation aircraft inherited from the NCAA is “too fast”.
- The House of Representatives has summoned Emirates, Asky, Turkish and Ethiopian to determine whether the Minister of Aviation denied these airlines landing rights at Kano Airport.
- From 1 December 2012, Emirates will operate its two daily Dubai-Lagos flights with B77W equipment, which means a 48 per cent increase in capacity. After replacing the current A345 on the route, the airline will offer 10.000 seats from and to Lagos every week.
- Dana Air is set to resume flights between Lagos and Abuja with two MD83s. The airline is considering the B737 and A319 as replacement aircraft.
- Aero announced it added two B737-400s to its fleet.
- Overland Airways’ B737-800 (EI-EZB; ex-OE-LNJ) will be leased from Austrian Airlines.
- Azikel Air acquired an Agusta A109S Grand (M-AZKL). It’s probably the fifth private helicopter that has been imported to Nigeria this year.
- Dangote Group acquired a Learjet 45 (N104DN).
- Kabo Air has leased a B747-400 (TF-AMY) from Air Atlanta for the remaining Hajj period.
- Regina Air is a possible new Abuja-based start-up airline.
- Air Nigeria’s AOC expired last week.
- The blog is now supported by a twitter account; double entries will be kept at a minimum.
Etihad Cargo will re-introduce a weekly freighter service from Abu Dhabi to Lagos, effective November 15. The service will operate every Thursday using a B747-400F, with a capacity of 124 tonnes.
The service will be complemented by the addition of 16 new interline destinations across West Africa. These additional interline connections will link Lagos with the cities of Libreville (Gabon), Pointe-Noire (Congo-Brazzaville), Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), Douala (Cameroon), Accra (Ghana), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Nouakchott (Mauritania), Conakry (Guinea), Bamako (Mali), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Cotonou (Benin), Monrovia (Liberia), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Port Harcourt (Nigeria) and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo).
Etihad Airways also operates a six-weekly A330 passenger services between Abu Dhabi and Lagos.
This week’s round-up:
- Aviation in Nigeria Blog is now on twitter: twitter.com/avinngblog
- The Azikel Group has launched a charter airline called Azikel Air. The Bayelsa State-based company operates a Hawker 800XP (N500AZ; ex-N919RT), and plans to commence scheduled operations in the near future.
- A new Hawker 900XP (N638MA) is now based at Lagos. It appears to replace the Lagos-based Beechcraft B350 with the same registration. Both aircraft are operated by Midway Airlines, likely owned by Michael Ade-Ojo of Elizade Motors or Adesoye of by E.O. Adesoye Okin Holdings.
- It seems that apart from Executive Jets Services (Aliko Dangote) and Southern Air (Mike Adenuga), several other private aircraft owners in Nigeria have created charter airlines, such as Midway Airlines, AirFirst Nigeria, Gyro Air, Triax Airlines, et cetera.
- Ifeanyi Ubah has acquired an Embraer Legacy 650 according to the rumour mill. Has anyone spotted the aircraft yet?
- The Dantata family, however, has put its G550 (N169SD), which recently received a new paint job, up for sale.
- King Airline has launched a new website. The charter airline operates two Hawker 800As (5N-BMR – in new colours – and 5N-BNE).
- Taraba State has contracted OAS Helicopters to operate the EMB 145 (5N-BOZ) destined for Air Taraba. It seems the aircraft will be used for charter rather than scheduled operations to Jalingo.
- Associated Aviation have suspended all charter operations. The Learjet 45 (5N-BLW) is now operated by Hangar8.
- Overland Airways announced at the acceptance ceremony of its first ATR 72-200 that it has five more ATR 72s on order, of which one is being prepared for delivery in Toulouse. Reportedly, the airline is also expecting to lease B737-800 in order to expand its domestic operations.
- The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will soon launch its Safety Management System Dashboard, which will enable the NCAA to monitor all Nigerian registered aircraft equipped with satellite based tracking solutions and data collection hardware.
- Airports across the country have been equipped with forty new fire trucks, but more than a 1000 firefighters are needed in the coming years.
- FAAN has concluded plans to expand the apron of the cargo terminal at Lagos Airport next year.
- The Nigerian Senate/House committee on aviation has passed several resolutions: it requested the EFCC to recover a fine of $235 million from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic for price-fixing, it advised against granting Arik Air the status of national carrier, it will investigate why Aero’s aircraft frequently have technical issues, and it ordered an investigation into why the Minister of Aviation has refused international airlines landing rights at Kano Airport and favours the southern regions of the country over the northern. The Minister has denied the last two allegations in a response; in fact, Turkish Airlines have been granted permission to operate into Kano.
- Dana Air has given an update on the measures it took to obtain a new AOC.
- Chanchangi Airlines is planning to make a re-start, as one of its B737-300s (5N-BMB) returned from maintenance in South Africa today. More details to follow soon.
- The Federal Government is still planning to create a pool of thirty aircraft for the domestic airlines before the end of the year, but it’s not realistic to expect the national carrier to be launched this year. Reportedly, the approached foreign carriers declined to enter into a deal with the Federal Government.
- A Reuters reporter wrote a background article on the financial problems in the Nigerian aviation industry. It’s worth reading although nothing new is in it.
The estate of the American Dana Air pilot, Peter Waxtan, the captain of the plane that crashed last June in Nigeria, claiming his life and killing all passengers and crew aboard, is being sued in Florida Federal Court by the victims’ families.
Relatives of a Connecticut family of six are the plaintiffs in one of the suits. Onyeka Collins Anyene; his wife, Maimuna; and their four minor children were killed allegedly because of Waxtan’s negligence.
The suit says the pilot:
- Failed to promptly respond to engine trouble.
- Failed to land at other available airports once engine problems were discovered.
- Did not properly manage the aircraft’s fuel.
- Failed to both declare an emergency and follow proper emergency procedures when the engines lost power.
A second suit making similar wrongful-death and negligence claims was filed by the relatives of two Texas sisters and by 18 other people, including several Nigerian nationals. The estate of Maimuna Anyene is also listed as a plaintiff.
By the way, the final report on the causes of the crash is yet to be released.
Med-View Airline announced that it will start scheduled passenger services on Thursday, 8 November 2012. The airline will operate its two twenty-one year-old B737-400s on the Lagos-Abuja and Lagos-Port Harcourt route. Flights can be booked through Med-View’s new (and horrendously designed) website. Med-View Airline will utilise the MMA2 Terminal at Lagos Airport. This is the airline’s flight schedule:
- LOS-ABV VL2100 07:00-08:15 (Weekdays)
- ABV-LOS VL2101 09:00-10:15 (Weekdays)
- LOS-ABV VL2102 12:00-13:15 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- ABV-LOS VL2103 14:00-15:15 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- LOS-ABV VL2104 16:30-17:45 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- ABV-LOS VL2105 18:30-19:30 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- LOS-ABV VL2100 08:00-08:15 (Saturdays)
- ABV-LOS VL2102 10:00-11:15 (Saturdays)
- LOS-ABV VL2102 12:30-13:45 (Saturdays)
- ABV-LOS VL2103 14:30-15:45 (Saturdays)
- LOS-PHC VL2110 08:00-09:10 (Weekdays)
- PHC-LOS VL2111 10:00-11:10 (Weekdays)
- LOS-PHC VL2112 12:30-13:40 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- PHC-LOS VL2113 14:40-15:50 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- LOS-PHC VL2114 17:00-18:10 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- PHC-LOS VL2115 19:00-20:10 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- LOS-PHC VL2110 08:30-09:40 (Saturdays)
- PHC-LOS VL2111 10:30-11:40 (Saturdays)
- LOS-PHC VL2112 13:30-14:40 (Saturdays)
- PHC-LOS VL2113 15:30-16:40 (Saturdays)
Atlantic Aviation has been issued an air-operating certificate (AOC). Twin engine medium aircraft (Sikorsky S76C+ helicopters) are already in country, soon to be followed by several of the Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters. With this fleet of medium-lift helicopters, Atlantic Aviation is able to serve all of the offshore operators in Nigeria with more than sufficient range to access even deepwater rigs and installations. Atlantic Aviation has already established a permanent base on Snake Island. Atlantic Aviation is currently developing an operational hub in Port Harcourt.
CHC Helicopter was already active in Nigeria, but terminated its partnership with Aero Contractors in 2010.
Aero has resumed flight operations from Lagos to Warri (twice daily) and from Lagos to Port Harcourt NAF Base (thrice weekly) as well as between Warri and Port Harcourt NAF Base (daily). Click here for the airline’s full schedule, all flights are operated with a Dash 8-Q300. Aero is the only airline to serve Port Harcourt NAF Base at the moment.
Aero has recently suspended its Abuja-Enugu service, but still flies from the capital to Owerri, Port Harcourt and Uyo.