Archive | December 2012

Picture of FirstNation’s first A319

FirstNation Airways will resume commercial operations in 2013 with two Airbus A319s (5N-FND and 5N-FNE). The two, sixteen year-old, aircraft were painted at Dublin, and will presumably be ferried to Nigeria early next year. The paint scheme is slightly different from the one worn by the three A320s that were returned to the lessor earlier this year.

FirstNation Airways - A319 - 5N-FNE/ex-EI-DVU (copyright n707pm)

FirstNation Airways – A319 – 5N-FNE/ex-EI-DVU (copyright n707pm)

The airline also signed a contract with FLYHT Aerospace Solutions to install an Automated Information Reporting System, AFIRS 220, on its aircraft.

Med-View starts Abuja-Yola and Lagos-Owerri

Med-View Airline has uploaded schedules for its new daily Abuja-Yola and Lagos-Owerri service:

  • LOS-QOW VL2110 07:30-08:45
  • QOW-LOS VL2111 09:30-10:45
  • ABV-YOL VL2102 10:30-11:40 (Weekdays)
  • ABV-YOL VL2102 11:00-12:10 (Saturday)
  • ABV-YOL VL2104 13:55-15:05 (Sunday)
  • YOL-ABV VL2103 12:30-13:40 (Weekdays)
  • YOL-ABV VL2103 13:00-14:10 (Saturday)
  • YOL-ABV VL2105 15:45-16:55 (Sunday)

The flights to Yola originate from Lagos, meaning that passengers can travel from Lagos to Yola with a stopover in Abuja.

Med-View Airline carried 32,956 passengers in the first two months of its operations. A B737-800 (CS-TQU) is wet-leased from EuroAtlantic Airways, and a second B737-800 will join the airline’s fleet in March 2013. Med-View will then commence flights to Kano and Sokoto.

This week’s update

A few updates:

  • Dana Air has sent its employees on compulsory leave, since the airline’s intentions to resume services have met with political resistance.
  • Med-View Airlines currently wet-leases a B737-800 (CS-TQU) from EuroAtlantic Airways.
  • A second A319 (5N-FNE; ex-EI-DVU) has been painted in FirstNation Airways’ colours. The airline aims to resume commercial operations next year.
  • Overland Airways has resumed its daily Abuja-Asaba service.
  • Four suspects were arrested near Enugu Airport, with two boxes of fireworks in their car.
  • The Aviation Investigation Bureau will soon get its own accident investigation laboratory in Abuja at a cost of US$5.5 million.
  • Aero has been awarded a Best Domestic Airline of the year 2012 prize.
  • The FG is planning to impose stricter rules on the operation of private, corporate and charter aircraft in Nigeria.
  • Niger State has allocated N80 million for the training of ten pilots by NCAT at Zaria and Minna.

Portable runway lighting system installed at Lagos Airport

Five years after the renovation of the domestic runway (18L/36R) at Lagos Airport, the aviation authorities have installed a temporary civil airfield lighting system (CALKIT) on 25 December 2012. Hopefully, the runway can soon be used for night operations, till a permanent lighting system is procured.

Update: the domestic runway 36R/18L can only be used for depatures at night, not for arrivals, according to a NOTAM.

Lagos Airport - Runway 18L was reopened in December 2008

Lagos Airport – Runway 18L/36R was reopened in December 2008

Nigerian Air Force takes delivery of two R66 helicopters

The first two Robinson R66 training helicopters have been assembled in Lagos, and delivered to the Nigerian Air Force. The 2011-build helicopters (NAF 577, ex-N804SF and NAF 576, ex-N7033V) will be based at the International Helicopter Flying School, Enugu. The Air Force will take delivery of several more Robinson R66s in the next few months.

Nigerian Air Force - Robinson R66 - NAF 577

Nigerian Air Force – Robinson R66 – NAF 577

This week’s update

Short updates:

  • FirstNation Airways intends to lease an A319 (5N-FND; ex-EI-DVD) from ILFC. The aircraft is being prepared for painting at Dublin.
  • Allied Air Cargo, reportedly, has acquired a B734F (5N-OTT; ex-N737WF).
  • NAF Lockheed C-130H Hercules (NAF 917) has been repaired and is back in service. The aircraft’s wing was hit by an Arik Air B737 on 14 July at Jos Airport.
  • United Airlines has postponed the start of its five weekly B787 service to Lagos till the end of January 2013. The flights from Houston to Lagos are currently operated with a B777.
  • The Federal Government has designated Kano Airport as cargo airport.
  • The authorities also announced that mobile airfield lighting will soon be installed at Lagos Airport runway 18L, serving the domestic terminals.
  • The House of Representatives has passed a resolution calling for the dismissal of the NCAA’s DG, Harold Demuren, as well as the withdrawal of Dana Air’s AOC.
  • The Federal Ministry of Aviation admits that the Nigeria’s radar and airport security systems are not functioning properly, contrary to claims made by NAMA.
  • There was a minor fire incident at a construction site beside the D-wing extension of the international terminal at Lagos Airport, on 20 December 2012. On Wednesday, part of the roof of a building – most likely the E-wing of the international terminal – was blown off by a Avient Aviation MD11F taking off.
  • About 300 christian pilgrims are stranded at Tel Aviv airport, as KS Travels/Empire Aviation Services failed to arrange a charter flight back to Nigeria.
  • To emergency landings this week: an Overland Airways ATR42 from Ilorin to Lagos developed issues with its landing gear last Sunday, while an Aero B737 on its way from Lagos to Enugu experienced an engine failure on Tuesday.
  • The governor of the Central Bank, L. Sanusi, has advised the Federal Government against the idea of floating a government-owned national airline
  • It appears that the recent proliferation of charter airlines in Nigeria also resulted in many ‘paper’ airlines: Fly Jets, Ferry Aviation, and Ed Air.

Navy helicopter crashes in Bayelsa State

An Agusta A109E Power (NN 07) of the Nigerian Navy on its way to Port Harcourt Airport crashed in Bayelsa State on 15 December 2012, around 15:30. The two pilots and four passengers were killed in the accident. Among the casualties were Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, and the former National Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi. It is the third Agusta A109E lost by the Nigerian Navy out a fleet of six helicopters since 2006.

Asky introduces Lagos-Abidjan service

Asky Airlines will commence a three-weekly service between Lagos and Abidjan on 18 December 2012. The flights will be operated with a brand new Bombardier Dash 8-Q400. Schedule:

  • KP050 LOS-ABJ 09:40-10:25 (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday)
  • KP051 ABJ-LOS 16:00-18:45 (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday)

There were no direct flights between Lagos and Abidjan since the demise of Air Nigeria. It is a pity that Arik Air lacks the capacity and resources to fill the gap left behind by Air Nigeria, they have effectively lost the West- and Central-African market to Asky Airlines.

Aero replaces Managing Director

Captain Akin George has resigned as Managing Director of Aero, while Obaro Ibru has been appointed as acting MD. According to the airline:

Following the commencement of a restructuring exercise initiated by the AMCON with the support of the board of Aero, the Managing Director of Aero, Capt. Akin George, has resigned. This is the beginning of a restructuring exercise that will make the airline slimmer and stronger, with the aim of making it more competitive. George has served Aero for 24 years in various capacities.

Aero owes N32 billion to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which has as a consequence obtained a majority stake in the airline. The Ibru family still has a stake in Aero as legacy shareholder.

Last month, the airline was awarded the title of Best West African Airline of the Year, 2012.

Aero – Sikorsky S76C+ – 5N-VIP

This week’s update

A couple of updates:

  • Aero took delivery of its sixth B737-400 (5N-BPQ; ex-N605SC) this week.
  • One of Dana Air’s MD83s (5N-SRI) was ferried back to Abuja, after maintenance checks in Istanbul.
  • Reportedly, Arik Air will get a second A332 (5N-JID/EI-EWG; ex-Kingfisher). But the first A332, ‘The Lady of Grace’, is still stored at Bordeaux for unknown reasons, so it will take a while before the aircraft will enter service, if it ever does.
  • IRS Airlines signed an agreement with Turkish Airlines to cooperate with regard to staff training and aircraft maintenance.
  • The two VVIP-helicopters ordered for the Presidential Air Fleet have been identified as AW101s. It seems that the order for a Hawker 4000 has been cancelled, since the aircraft manufacture entered bankruptcy.
  • Delta Air Lines celebrates five years of service to Nigeria: ‘More than 570,000 passengers have flown on Delta’s flights between Nigeria and the United States since 2007 and this year Delta has seen strong load factors of over 80%. Additionally, over the last 5 years, Delta has transported around 6,500 tons of cargo between Nigeria and the U.S., facilitating trade and commerce between the two nations.’
  • EgyptAir will increase its capacity on the Cairo-Abuja route in December 2012 and January 2013, as A330-200 is to operate on selected periods instead of Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
  • The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) will divide the Lagos Area Control Centre into two sectors per 17 December 2012, meaning that an additional radio frequency (120.9 MHz) will be created to relieve the heavily congested existing radio frequency (127.3 MHz). Meanwhile, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) warns that air safety is under threat due to the bad state of communication facilities.
  • None of the airports in Nigeria are ICAO approved.
  • Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) has announced that it achieved approved maintenance organisation (AMO) certification from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
  • There is a new issue of Arik Wings out.

AOC for Dana Air and SkyJet Aviation

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has (re-)granted air operator’s certificates (AOC) to Dana Air and SkyJet Aviation.

Dana Air’s AOC was suspended in June this year after one of its aircraft crashed. The airline intends to resume domestic services with a fleet of five MD83s, but will only be allowed to start flying after fully compensating the families of the crash victims.

SkyJet Aviation is currently a charter airline, operating from Kaduna. According to the airline’s owner, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the new airline will begin scheduled flight operations with five aircraft

Arik Air launches two-weekly Lagos-Kinshasa service

Arik Air announced it will add Kinshasa to its route network per 5 December 2012. Flights from Lagos to the capital of DR Congo will be operated twice weekly and routed via Douala. The route will be operated on Wednesday and Sunday with a B737-700 aircraft. Schedule:

  • W3121 LOS-DLA-FIH 11:10-12:40 / 13:25-15:25
  • W3122 FIH-DLA-LOS 16:10-18:10 / 18:55-20:25

The new service to Douala complements the existing thrice weekly flights between Lagos and Douala on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.