Overland Airways introduced a new six-weekly flight service between Abuja and Akure, the capital of Ondo State. Schedule:
- OJ1198 Abuja-Akure 09:45-10:45 (Weekdays)
- OJ1199 Akure-Abuja 11:15-12:15 (Weekdays)
- OJ1198 Abuja-Akure 12:00-13:00 (Sundays)
- OJ1199 Akure-Abuja 13:30-14:30 (Sundays)
Akure Airport was left without any scheduled commercial flights, after Arik Air and Associated Aviation abandoned the airport last year.
A quiet week:
- The Abuja Gateway Consortium filed a suit against the Federal Government. The consortium won a bid in 2006 to develop Abuja Airport, but the contract was annulled and is now awarded to Chinese investors.
- Kebbi State has approved a sum of N13.6 billion to upgrade the state-owned airstrip at Ambursa to the status of international airport. The expansion of the runway and construction of a new terminal will be done by CGC and should be ready in March 2013.
- A Qatar Airways A330 coming from Doha made an emergency landing at Lagos Airport on 29 September, after discovering a minor landing gear problem.
- Hawker Beechcraft sold 26 aircraft in Nigeria between 2007 and 2011 (11 percent of their African market).
- The Nigerian Navy acquired a Bell 206 Jet Ranger (NN 10) for training purposes.
- CHC is planning to re-enter the Nigerian market. It will operate AW139/S76 helicopters in partnership with Jagal.
- SkyBird Air is not only operating three Do328Jets but also a Gulfstream GIV (probably 5N-BOD; ex-5N-FGP).
- Dana Air has begun test flights ahead of their resumption of commercial services. It seems the airline will retain its corporate identity.
- FirstNation Airways appears to have resumed flights between Lagos and Abuja with one A320, although flights cannot be booked through their website. Associated Aviation also continues to operate scheduled flights to Akure and Benin. This article analysing the decrease of capacity and increase of air fares over the past months, however, claims that both airlines are currently not operating any flights.
- The Federal Government has replaced the top management of various aviation agencies.
- Overall, the volume of air cargo traffic in Nigeria grew in 2011, but designated cargo airports such as Ilorin and Owerri didn’t record a single cargo flight last year.
- A new issue of Arik Wings is available online.
Arik Air has silently ceased its three weekly Abuja-Akure service. Akure airport is now no longer served by any airline.
Other news about Arik Air is that its A330-200 is still impounded and parked at Johannesburg. The Lagos-Johannesburg route is now operated with a B737-800.
In general, the airline appears not to be able or not willing to pay its bills as well as the salaries of its employees.
Arik Air will resume flights from Abuja to Akure (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) on 8 November 2010. The Lagos-Akure service remains suspended.
Update: Despite the announcement made by Arik Air earlier, the airline also retained a three weekly Abuja-Ilorin-Abuja service (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) according to their spokesman. Flights can be booked on Arik’s website.
On the occasion of Arik Air’s fourth year anniversary, the following announcements were made:
- The airline has up to date carried 5.8million passengers and has over 40 per cent of the traffic share in Nigeria.
- The airline has invested over $6.1 billion in acquisitions and orders in the past four years.
- The airline is awaiting approval from the Federal Government to develop the GAT terminal that will be owned by government and operated by FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria).
- The airline promoted Chris Ndulue from acting Managing Director to MD.
- The airline will provide charter services for Christian pilgrims to Israel.
The following routes will be introduced/cancelled this month:
- Re-introduction of Garden City Express (daily Lagos-Port Harcourt NAF Base-Abuja flights) per 1 November.
- Re-Introduction of daily Lagos-Uyo-Abuja flights per 15 November.
- Akure and Ilorin are dropped as destinations.
- Arik Air intends to start a three weekly service between Port Harcourt NAF Base and Benin (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays) later this month.
- Upcoming are also new regional routes to Abidjan, Bamako and Ouagadougou.