According to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), seven new airlines have applied for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). Among the applicants are several current charter operators: Prime Air, Gyro Air, EasyJet, Air Taraba, as well as the newcomers Azman Air and Hak Air. The last unidentified start-up airline is called EAS – also the name of a defunct carrier, which could stand for Empire Aviation Services.
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 governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Danfulani Suntai, was involved in an air crash near Yola Airport today. He was flying his own Cessna 208B Grand Caravan (5N-BMJ) and took-off from Jalingo Airport at 17:20 enroute to Yola. The six people onboard all survived the accident, but are hospitalised with various degrees of injuries. According to the Ministry of Aviation:
An aircraft, Cessna 208 with 6 souls on board including crew, operated by the Taraba State Government departed Jalingo, Taraba State for Yola this evening and reported contact with the Yola Control Tower (1720Z) and field in sight at 38 miles estimating landing at 1730Z. The pilot subsequently lost contact with Yola Control Tower and subsequent effort to raise the aircraft failed. Search & Rescue was immediately activated and site of incident located with all victims alive with various degrees of injuries. The victims have been evacuated to the hospital for treatment pending further investigation of the incident.
The governor is an aviation enthusiast who obtained his flying licence in 2010. Reportedly, he owns a private helicopter and two light aircraft for which he built an airstrip at his home village. Earlier this year, Taraba State acquired a ERJ145 to set up a state airline called Air Taraba.
A couple of short updates:
- Nigeria and India are planning to renegotiate their bilateral air service agreement, while Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago may also enter into a BASA.
- Air Algerie wants to start flights from Algiers to Lagos.
- Bombardier as well as Boeing are considering to help Nigeria develop a MRO facility.
- Air Nigeria’s repossessed B737s have been flown out of Lagos.
- The Imo State Government intends to build a new airport terminal at Owerri Airport through a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) agreement.
- Taraba State is planning to build an airstrip on the Mambilla plateau. It would be the second airstrip to be constructed by the State Governor, who also has an airstrip in his home village of Suntai. The state capital’s Jalingo Airport, however, is not yet operational for commercial flights nor has Air Taraba taken of yet.
- The presentation given by the SG of the NCAA at the International Helicopter Safety Symposium 2011.
- Does anyone know more about Private Flyers International? It’s a private flying club, based at Kaduna, operating a fleet consisting of a Cessna 172, a Cessna 206, a Piper PA-23 Aztec (5N-BKE), a Jabiru 430, and a Cessna Caravan.
- The airlines are expected to raise their domestic air fares.
- The Minister of Aviation wants to invite foreign companies to audit the domestic airlines. Experts complain that the Ministry is neglecting the air safety projects.
- FAAN has announced that it will remove 65 unserviceable aircraft from various airports in the country.
- An interesting analysis of the aviation markets in Nigeria and Ghana. This is also a good commentary on the state of Nigerian aviation.
- The Nigerian Senate has ordered Lufthansa to pay N2.19 billion, being the amount of royalty accrued to the Federal Government from its flight operations from 2009 to October 2011.
- The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has called for an investigation by the EFCC into FAAN’s financial management.
- The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) may request assistance from the EFCC to recover about N22 billion in debts, owed by past and present domestic airlines.
- Harold Demuren has been reappointed as Director General of the NCAA.
- There were bomb scares at Lagos and Abuja Airports this week.
- Lagos State Government has commenced work on the development on the Lekki-Epe International Airport.
- Bayelsa State inaugurated an Airport Development Committee to speed up the construction of an airport in the state.
- The governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai, allegedly acquired a helicopter for himself. The governor already owns two light aircraft and plans to a construct an airstrip near his home village. Meanwhile, the Taraba State Government will soon launch a commercial airline, Air Taraba will have Jalingo Airport as its home base.
- SkyBird Air – a Dornier 328Jet operator – is still awaiting its AOC to commence operations. The airline is apparently owned by a former governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, of Borno State.
- A Dana Air aircraft (5N-SRI) coming from Uyo made an emergency landing at Lagos Airport on 10 May 2012, following a ‘loss of hydraulic pressure’.
- The Air Expo organised by the Nigerian Air Force to mark its 48th anniversary will start next week, 15 May 2012, at Kaduna Air Force Base.
- The Nigerian Navy plans to establish a Naval Aviation Training School in Ilorin Airport, Kwara State.
- Arik Air will suspend its Abuja-London service again per 25 March. Apparently the slot issue at London Heathrow has not been resolved.
- Arik Air has ferried one of its CRJ900 aircraft (5N-JEC) to Arkansas for maintenance recently.
- SkyBird Air will soon take delivery of its first Dornier 328Jet (5N-BMH).
- DANA will also accept a new Dornier 328 aircraft (5N-DOW / ex-D-CASI) soon, after selling some of its aircraft last year.
- Air Taraba’s EMB145 has received its livery (without titles yet) at Bournemouth; the aircraft will be registered 5N-BOZ.
- A police helicopter (a Bell 427 that joined the fleet last year; 5N-POL) crashed near Jos on 14 March. The Airwing of the Nigerian Police also acquired a Cessna Citation XLS (5N-HAR) new last year.
- Shell has given Caverton Helicopters a loan of $85 million to upgrade its fleet with six AW139s. Caverton will from next month expand its operations to Cameroon, signing a five-year contract with the Cameroon Oil Transportation Company.
- Air France will resume flights from Lagos to Abuja from June 2012. It will be the airline’s third destination in Nigeria.
- Enugu Airport will be closed for traffic for three weeks from 18 March (now postponed to April), to enable the installation of runway lighting.
- Bauchi Airport has re-opened after a year of renovation works.
- Kano State Government has appealed to KLM to shelve plans to suspend operations at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport.
- FirstNation Airways have commenced a daily Abuja-Port Harcourt service from 14 March.
- Allied Air Cargo continues to lease two MD11Fs from World Airways along its own four B727Fs.
- Associated Aviation still operates an ERJ-145 (5N-BJM) leased from the Bauchi State government.
- MaxAir has acquired a Embraer Legacy 600 (M-ANGA) for its charter operations. The airline also operates a Learjet 45 (5N-LDM).