This week’s update

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.

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33 responses to “This week’s update”

  1. Chris says :

    Is it confirmed that the new 737-800 for Overland Airways is going to be leased from Austrian Airlines? Or is it going to be leased from a leasing corporation? AFAIK Austrian is about to sell all 737s – not to lease it to other airlines.

    • Aviation in Nigeria says :

      The aircraft is now registered EI-EZB, so supposedly it will be dry-leased from a leasing company. It’s rather a surprise move by Overland.

      • Eze says :

        Why is it a surprise? Air Nigeria is no more…and Dana’s absence for a few months present Overland with an opportunity window. Well it shall be interrsting to see their first 737 route..I take it not a traditional one. Perhaps LOS-Asaba-Abuja rotations.

      • Igbosere bomber says :

        Here it is………….
        B737-8Z9 EI-EZB ex AUSTRIAN

  2. Greg says :

    Eze, not enough traffic for Lagos-Asaba-Abuja, in my opinion. But I admire Capt Boyo for going for cutting edge equipment. Just compare this with what Dana, those traders, did by buying MD83s. As if to vindicate the Overland policy, it’s reported on this blog that Dana’s now considering A319s or 737s

  3. Greg says :

    A gossip magazine implied last week that its leasors, or is it lessees (whatever), jacked up the lease rates of First Nation’s A320s, and, as Odukoya apparently couldn’t afford the new terms, the jets were repossessed. Other bits like alleged misgivings about Nigerian airspace by Europe and the US following the Dana crash, the 40 bill Naira FstNtn investment splashed by Bola Tinubu, staff on compulsory leave and such gave the report a fascinating twist. Gentlemen, what do you know? Pls tell

  4. LAF says :

    Don’t know much about this Overland strategy. That 73 is going to need to really work or else….

    Guys, for all the fuel penalties faced landing on the western RWY @ Lagos after dark and the longer taxi distances, do you know to what extent a potential fuel saving measure by single-engine taxiing is carried out? Haven’t come across this yet. All one ever reads are about the $$ complaints.

    • Alaba bham says :

      Not sure the savings will justify the single engine taxi into Lagos strategy. So many factors:
      Asymetrical thrust means more hard work on nose steering and brakes
      Will APU be on?
      Which engine to taxi with will depend on where hydraulics are located
      Which engine feeds off which tanks so will there be cross feed (more work after landing). Different aircraft means different systems. Most if not all of our domestic planes are two engines anyway.

      To taxi for take off is different:
      If you are heavy, you need all engines to shift off in the first place.
      Will you then shut down an engine once its running until you are holding short for take off?
      How much warm up would that engine need before you can then apply take off power. I can imagine if you are in a long queue for take off that it might make sense to shut down an engine but that is another (engine start) checklist to be added to the pressure of take off.
      Sorry no definite fuel saving answers from me but rather a host of safety issues.
      BA did research taxing their 747s on the two inboard engines some years ago.Will try to find it unless others can.

      • LAF says :

        There are more than enough studies out there by others. The focus here is more on the night time arrival and taxi to Domestic. Additional factors to consider:-

        – Ultra familiar standard taxi route(s), so they know all the gradients and how best to play with power settings along the way and taking more advantage of the terrain.

        – Being arrivals, they are much lighter so potential weight, fuel and power advantage. Also cooler conditions than daytime

        – Working with ground control to coordinating tow backs.

        – Flying smarter: fuel savings where possible at every flight phase

        Just some other non-standard innovative solution they can attempt for the time being.

        Another one could be to reduce APU and GPU dependence with the use of 400Hz ground power. New infra required for this.

        You would expect the likes of the two As with all their twins to have looked into this issue already. Won’t bother trying to make contact in any case.

        Whatever extra they’ve been burnig, it’s nowhere near the baddest American scenrios, where carriers literally weep tears of JET A-1 and planes are more like cars in typical Lagos traffic. So, they either get creative or stick it out till the eastern runway is relit.

      • Alaba bham says :

        Very intriguing scenario you’ve asked! I’m old school but Ive done some reading up on this and so MANY variables apply! Equipment: Airbus Versus Boeing with the former having automated starts, weights, engines (breakaway N1 numbers).
        Why not set up a limited time (say 1 month) project involve all crews (flight and ground, the latter if you can get push back further back to limit turns ) and tower? Or do it unoffically!!

      • Alaba bham says :

        My last email crossed over yours in the ether.

      • LAF says :

        @Alaba bham
        “My last email crossed over yours in the ether”

        Well wabove minimun separation so my cyber TCAS didn’t deploy :-)

        Maybe the two A’s could put heads together and work on designing some trials, drawing as much as is available from ongoing and existing research and seeing how to adapt this to their cases.

        Given the relative operational complexity at Lagos, it may bet better to pick a less busy airport and conduct trials in daylight. They also experiment with departures and gather as much data as they can.

        Meanwhile, with yet another ultimatum from the NAA to remove abandoned planes looming, they should seriously think about smartly redestinating some of those planes and not dispatchin all to Mr. Scrapper.

        MRO training, NCAT
        Ground schools
        Nollywood props. will definitely improve aircraft scene quality, seriously

        And lastly, this one here, as housing:

      • Alaba bham says :


        I agree with you about scrapping abandoned planes!!. i’ve been talking about this idea for years. Give these airframes and engines to technical schools or even secondary schools to demystify aviation in Nigeria.
        How better to study the principles of flight and propulsion than with old planes? Get unemployed pilots or technicians (paying them a fee) to go and teach basic aviation knowledge.
        Even set up museums to highlight the history of Nigerian aviation. There are rotting DC3s, Ilyushins, Migs, F.27s and others scattered at airstrips nationwide. So much so that the bits and pieces could also fetch nice prices in eBay! Im sure a MiG17/21 joystick on that site is a money spinner (all royalties from my idea can go to my pension!)

      • LAF says :

        If the NAA are serious this time, then it may be to roll out a good innovative plan and proposal on how best to tackle this.

        Thanks to the blog for the bizjet manifest last week. Maybe if we all smiled nicely ;-), they could help us out with the list of junk equipment around the country?

        Beside the merciless deconstruction of our very own Princess ANN and River Ethiope for the historical significance they stood for (got so annoyed JET A-1 could have been fuming out my ears :-s), much of the planes could pose potential commercial opportunities.

        All the clamour about the need for local MRO popping up in the news every now and then. Ehm, the technical college system? Looks like that, just like the planes has long been abandoned or will need to get its own D check as the solid technical education system is the backbone for realistic MRO aspirations. You can really appreciate this need for this looking at the automotive sector and from our motoring experiences.

        Well, there’s no time like now to turn those good ideas into value. Let’s see how best to make something beautiful of the apparent mess. Let’s correspond and make some more detailed exchanges on this and see how best to roll out a good plan in time before any eventual hard hand scrap orders lead to further losses.

      • LAF says :

        This is how you turn trash in to treasure

        NAA, take a cue.

    • Alaba bham says :

      It’ll be nice to collate pictures of abandoned planes all over the country if the security people dont get too worked up. Pleasure to be sit in a 707/ Bac111 restaurant somewhere.

  5. Alaba bham says :

    Lets hope NAMA can make money off the ordered King Air for calibration duties through selling services to nearby countries. Over the 25 years or so, millions was spent upgrading the console on the outgoing HS 125 meaning that it should sell quite well. Pity it’s taken them till this time to find out ‘its too fast’. Typical.

    • Babangida says :

      Hmmm! It is another avenue to siphon.

    • LAF says :

      That boat may well be more economically useful that its life as a plane. Smart looking public seating units could be made from various T-tails and wings of small planes. Ample potential to generate work if you ask me..

  6. skywalker says :

    Is any thing being done to the shoddy/intermittent Kano control(FIR) VHF radios.

  7. Greg says :

    Just arrived from Lagos airport: an A320 in the first nation colour scheme, minus the titles, is parked close to the Aero MX facility. Couldn’t spot the registration. Is it a new machine or one of the old ones, which indicates that the de-registration regardless, the owners returned the jet to FN?

    • Aviation in Nigeria says :

      It’s ex-5N-FNC, still has to be flown out of the country by the owners.

      Regarding the speculation around FirstNation: the problems began when the aircraft were grounded in June, because of overdue maintenance checks. Odukoya couldn’t raise funds to get the aircraft back in the air in the first place, so how could he possibly pay the lessors? Tinubu always denied any involvement in the airline.

  8. LAF says :

    Or how about laying the foundations to make Nigeria Africa’s own Victorville, properly coordinated of course. I know, dreaming is allowed but what better way to turn all that all that junk into serious business?

  9. Alaba bham says :

    On a serious note, my brain seems to remember the story of a student at Zaria who vanished on his solo cross country back in ’77. Was there anything ever found if anyone knows? I was at Sierra at the time.

    • Anonymous says :

      We have been doing single engine taxi procedures for years on my fleet between Lagos domestic and rwy 18R. Also at abuja when taxiing from international ramp to runway 04/22 . Fuel savings of about 50-100 kgs. There are also some savings on brake wear since this aircraft type has a high idle thrust setting and requires frequent brake application or cracking of the thrust reversers in order to keep taxi speeds manageable

  10. Greg says :

    @ Alaba/Odukoya: I suspect Odukoya wanted to keep costs to a minimum. This reflects his use of a single A320, at least most of the time, while the other two were parked. Flying all three would have jacked up costs, whereas pax numbers would have taken some time to build up to break even even as all three flew. Who knows how long Odukoya could afford? The implication is that funds to enter all plausible markets within the time the lease ran, were not available. Paucity of funds may explain the lean crew complement the airline had, as suitable Nigerian crew are said to have been told to get the type rating themselves (without guarantees of being taken). Borrowing locally, which he may have alraedy done although, is discouraging, because of high interest rates. Ultimately, I think the episode sums up the high cost environment our government has allowed the industry to descend into and remain in.

    • Alaba says :

      Surely Odukoya and the lessor knew that checks would soon be due on the planes before its AOC. The problems with the one man management scenario is dual:
      He keeps the true terms and conditions of the lease secret.
      As a result of this secrecy, he cannot find any funds as any finance house will want to see those terms and conditions as well as his business model of keeping one ac flying and the other two on the ground which I dont get at all. Shouldnt he just have gone for one ac? In all fairness to the man despite his reputation, he must have spent big on these plans.
      Pilots paying for their own training is becoming more common in Europe now even though good ole Ryanair have been doing it for years (now that’s one airline business model that could work in Nigeria!).

  11. papooze says :

    Pls wat of first nation airline?has deir AOC not expired,pls d ceo is oweing us 6months salary

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