A couple of updates:
- Aero just announced that it will resume flight operations today. The airline’s management has promised to reinstate all the dismissed employees.
- The Federal Government will allow corporate and private jet owners to operate without an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).
- The Nigerian Air Force has acquired several B737s to set up a commerical airline named United Nigeria Airlines. The first aircraft, a B737-500 (NAF 916; ex-LN-BRV), will soon arrive in Nigeria.
- Dana Air’s MD-83 (5N-JAI) remains grounded, as the airline struggles to meet the directive of the Minister of Aviation that Boeing has to re-certify the aircraft.
- Arik Air’s B737-700 (5N-MJI), recently spotted without an engine at Abuja Airport, was ferried to Malta for maintenance.
- Aero’s second Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 (5N-BPT; ex-G-JEDN) has been sprayed in its new livery.
- A B737-800 of Royal Air Maroc made an emergency landing at Lagos yesterday, after hitting a bird during take-off.
- According to a state governor, the Federal Government plans to float a national airline through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
- The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) will install toll gates at all airports to increase its revenues.
- Lagos’s Murtala Muhammed International Airport currently ranks as the fourth biggest in Africa, but its seat capacity declined with 13 per cent in the past year.
- Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) plans to build a chain of branded fixed-base operations (FBO) across Africa within the next seven years.
- Ethiopian Airlines has taken Chanchangi Airlines to court over a case of unpaid maintenance fees.
- Kenya Airways will increase its Nairobi-Lagos serice from five weekly to daily per 31 March 2013, while reducing its Nairobi-Lagos-Cotonou-Nairobi service from four to three weekly.
- Turkish Airlines will replace the B737-900ER on the Istanbul-Lagos route with A330 equipment per 21 May 2013.
- The renovated terminal at Kano Airport will be commissioned today.
- Aero is yet to resolve its conflict with the labour unions over recent cost cutting measures. Flight operations are still suspended.
- Fola Akinkuotu is nominated as new director-general of the NCAA by the presidency. Akinkuoto is currently the rector of the International Aviation College, Ilorin.
- The Senate is planning to review all Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) to put an end to ‘the ongoing rip-off of Nigerians by foreign airlines’.
- Nigeria will soon sign a BASA with Israel. Pilgrims travelling to Israel may be able to fly directly to Tel Aviv later this year.
- Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) signed a deal with a Chinese company to build new airport terminals at Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. Construction work will start in June this year.
- Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which holds stakes in Arik Air, Aero and Chanchangi Airlines, is hopeful it will recover its investments, and is willing to sale its interests in the airlines.
- The Presidential Amnesty Office announced that it is planing to train 200 aircraft and helicopter pilots under its youth empowerment programme.
- Kano State will train a 100 pilots at the Mideast Aviation Academy in Jordan.
- OAS Helicopters is planning to start serving the upstream oil and gas sector. It signed a deal with Gulf Helicopter Company from Qatar to provide suitable helicopters and technical expertise.
Arik Air announced it will lease two B737-300s under an ACMI-agreement to a Kano-based cargo airline, Emirate Touch Aviation Services (future website). The two aircraft (5N-MJA and 5N-MJB) are currently stored in the United Kingdom and will be converted to freighters. Apparently, Emirate Touch Aviation also operates a B727F (5N-BNQ), formerly operated by Millennium Air.
- The renovated terminal of Benin Airport will be commissioned today.
- A power outage at Lagos Airport last Monday during a rainstorm forced an Emirates aircraft to divert to Lomé.
- Ibadan Airport was closed last Saturday, after a Caverton helicopter blocked the runway with a burst tire.
- After dismantling about fifteen aircraft at Lagos, the FAAN has now started clearing abandoned aircraft at Abuja Airport.
- CAPA made an analysis of the number of seats offered on the domestic and Nigeria-Europe routes.
- According to some insiders, the Federal Government favours Embraer as provider of new aircraft to the domestic carriers.
- Arik Air has expressed interested in acquiring Q400s, CRJ1000s and even the C Series from Bombardier.
- PHCN’s last two MBB Bo-105s (5N-EPA and 5N-BCJ) have been grounded over the past years.
- An enquiry by the Navy revealed that the crash of the A109 helicopter on 15 December last year ‘might have been caused by human error or material failure or both‘.
- Caverton Helicopters has ordered three additional AW139s. The company already operates six helicopters of this type.
- Med-View Airline announced it will soon launch a Abuja-Port Harcourt service. The airline is expecting two B737-800s to join its fleet this month.
- SkyBird Air’s third and last Do-328Jet (5N-BMH, 5N-SPE, 5N-SPM) was ferried from Germany to Nigeria this week.
- Hak Air’s first of four B737-400s (5N-BOT, 5N-BOU, 5N-BOV, 5N-BOW was ferried from Indonesia to Nigeria this week.
- DANA no longer operates a Do 328 (5N-DOW) for Punto Azul.
- Air Zimbabwe plans to start a three-weekly Harare-Accra-Lagos-Harare service, operated by an A320, per 2 April 2013.
The hangar would not only carry out major repairs of Arik aircraft, but other new generation aircraft in the fleet of other domestic airlines in the country. He called on the Federal Government to consider acquiring the Bombardier aircraft type for domestic operators in lieu of its proposal to acquire new aircraft for domestic operations in the country.
Arik Air has been planning to develop a super hangar since its inception in 2006.
A few things worth mentioning:
- A group of investors plans to construct a business aircraft maintenance base at the Ido-Osun Airport this year. The State Government began building the new airport last year.
- The renovation of the airport terminals at Benin and Kano will be ready this month, while those at Enugu, Jos, Kaduna and Port Harcourt should be delivered in April 2013.
- SkyBird Air is in the final stage of obtaining its AOC for commercial flight services.
- Dana Air added a sixth return flight from Lagos to Abuja on Thursdays and Fridays and a fifth flight on Sundays. The airline also announced it will start flying to Port Harcourt again ‘very soon’.
- The latest issue of Arik Wings is online.
- New reports on the fraudulent origins of Arik Air’s start-up capital circulated in the media this week.
- Aero will add a second Dash 8-Q400 (ex-G-JEDN) to its fleet; the aircraft is stored at Exeter.
- The BAe 125-800B (5N-BOO; ex-5N-AGZ) which formerly belonged to the Presidential Air Fleet has been resprayed at Lanseria. The aircraft is registered to Gyro Air.
- Wings Aviation’s Beech 200 King Air (5N-IHS) has been parked at Lanseria for years now. Perhaps it will be operated again by JedAir.
- Four ex-Sonair S76 helicopters are parked at Lagos. The Angolan registered helicopters are apparently acquired by Hak Air.
- The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) informs air passengers that they are entitled to compensation from airlines for flight cancellations.
- Saudia Cargo will increase its weekly frequency from Hongkong to Lagos.
- Since December 2012, Airstream Cargo has been operating a B737-400F (S5-ABV), leased from Solinair, out of Lagos, using Axiom Air’s call sign.
- The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) recorded 14,3 million air travellers in 2012, according to a press release. This is a decrease of four per cent in passengers compared to 2011, although the numbers given in the statement conflict with those on FAAN’s website.
- The Federal Government has implemented a duty waiver for the import of aircraft and spare parts. Foreign registered aircraft based in Nigeria are excluded from the waiver.
- TopBrass Aviation took delivery of its third Dash 8-Q300 (5N-TBA) last week, meanwhile another aircraft of the same airline (5N-TBB) was spotted at Maastricht for maintenance.
- Reportedly, Aero will soon accept its first Dash 8-Q400 (5N-???; ex-G-JEDO), which was ferried to Norwich for painting. One of Aero’s B737-400s (5N-BJA) is currently at Bournemouth for a new coat of paint.
- Overland Airways apparently accepted its second ATR 72-200 (5N-BPF; ex-F-WNUF). A third ATR 72 is being prepared for the airline at Toulouse. Meanwhile, Overland is recruiting pilots and mechanics for B737NG aircraft, meaning that the B737-800 (EI-EZB) may join its fleet after all.
- Dana Air added a fifth return flight between Lagos and Abuja on weekdays. The airline intends to re-start services to Port Harcourt before the end of February 2012.
- A Nigerian official blamed a pilot error for last year’s Dana Air crash, even though the official report is yet to be published.
- Cross River State announced that Bebi Airstrip, serving Obudu Mountain Resort, will get a regular commercial service in March 2013. The state government acquired an aircraft – probably the Dash 8-200 (5N-GRS) purchased from Rivers State, rather than the mentioned ATR 42 – to serve the airstrip.
- Cross River State also wants the runway of Calabar Airport extended. The airport recently got the status of cargo airport.
- A Hawker 4000 (5N-NOC) belonging to NNPC overran the runway at Warri on 6 February 2013.
- Omni Air’s Makurdi-based Air Tractor 502 (5N-BPV).
- Arik Air and IRS Airlines are no longer making night stops at Maiduguri for security reasons.
- The 2003 white paper on the mismanagement of Nigeria Airways has been dug up again by local media.
- The Nigerian Air Force has only one serviceable trainer aircraft at its Kaduna Base. Three Do 228s will be refurbished.
- The company responsible for the dismantling of derelict aircraft (video) in Nigeria paid N800,000 for each aircraft.
- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is set to improve the nation’s radar control. However, pilots dispute the claim that the TRACON project resulted in a complete radar coverage of the Nigerian airspace.
- The Senate has ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria to recover a loan of N35.5 billion from Jimoh Ibrahim. The sum came from the Aviation Intervention Fund and was intended for Air Nigeria.
- The Senate again asked the Federal Government to revoke Dana Air’s AOC and to fire the DG of the NCAA for negligence of duty.
- A few images of the clearing of stored aircraft at Lagos Airport. A DHL B727F and NICON Airways B727 are the first aircraft to be dismantled.
- FAAN announced that it will construct twelve cargo terminals across the country to boost the export of perishable goods.
- FAAN has accepted six refurbished fire tenders. Jalingo Airport is currently the only airport in Nigeria without a fire tender.
- Runway lighting will be installed at Enugu, Yola and Owerri, and these airports will be open for night operations from 24 March 2013 onwards.
- The promised duty waiver on aircraft and aircraft parts is yet to be implemented by the Federal Government.
- Ticket prices have dropped on domestic routes in the recent weeks, because of increased supply.
- Arik Air quit its Abuja-Katsina route.
- Arik Air issued a RFP to finance four Bombardier jets.
- ExecuJet Nigeria in Lagos has been named a Line Maintenance Facility (LMF) for Bombardier business jets.
- VistaJet asked the support of the Federal Government to expand its activities in Nigeria. Apparently, the charter airline currently operates on the AOC of SkyPower Express.
- Chanchangi’s second B737-300 (5N-BMC) will re-join the airline’s fleet shortly. The airlines also hopes to add two more B737 Classics before the summer.
- The Minister of Aviation disclosed that the launch of a new national carrier is in its final stage of approval.
- FAAN has begun to dismantle derelict aircraft at Lagos Airport, meanwhile an entrepreneur wants to collect abandoned aircraft to set up an Aviation Museum in Nigeria.
- The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced it will enforce the new Passenger Bill of Rights to make sure that all airlines comply to the new rules protecting air travellers.
- Gombe State Government has struck a new deal with Arik Air to increase the current five-weekly service between Gombe and Abuja to a daily service.
- Med-View Airline has suspended its Lagos-Owerri service after just one month.
- AirFrance will offer more seats on its daily flights from Paris to Abuja and Port Harcourt per 31 March 2013, changing from A332 to B772 equipment. The airline also serves Lagos daily from Paris with an A332.
- The Nigerian Air Force has acquired a former SAS B737-505 (to be registered NAF 916; ex-LN-BRV). The aircraft is currently at Istanbul for maintenance.
- PICOMMS lost the feud with NIMASA and will be disolved by the Federal Government. The Nigerian Navy will take over the assets of PICOMMS, including a B350, DA42 and Cessna 206.
- An article on the Biafran Air Force (shared by Alaba).
- Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers in the US for further training.
- The foundation of the new airport in Bauchi State was laid by the State Governor on 25 January 2013. The second airport in the state should be ready before the end of the year.
- A couple of pictures showing the ongoing renovation work on the Owerri Airport terminal emerged on the net. Apparently all the domestic airports – Benin, Port Harcourt and Enugu – are getting a very similar look.
A couple of news bits:
- The House of Representatives insists on banning Dana Air and firing NCAA’s MD Harold Demuren, who defended the re-certification of the airline.
- The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) will start scraping old airplanes that are abandoned at airports next week.
- The NCAA has expanded and revised a part of the civil aviation regulations.
- Some controversy over the acquisition of new trainer aircraft for the International Aviation College, Ilorin. It’s not clear whether the aircraft will be financed by the Federal Government of by the Kwara State Government.
- The Central Bank of Nigeria has increased the Airline Intervention Fund to give the sector a boost.
- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has approved night flight operations at Uyo Airport. The expansion of the airport will be ready in 2015.
- The FAAN has yet another conflict with a concessionaire about a plot of land at Lagos Airport.
- Flights were delayed in the past week due to the Harmattan haze.
- Dana Air has added a fourth, early-morning flight between Lagos and Abuja on weekdays.
- The Nigerian Air Force took delivery of a Hawker 4000 (5N-FGX; ex-N466HB). The aircraft was acquired as part of the renewal of the Presidential Air Fleet; it replaces a Hawker 800 (ex-5N-AGZ; now 5N-BOO).
- Caverton Helicopter’s new Dash 6-400 Twin Otter (5N-SHE; ex-C-GUVA) is on its delivery flight from Canada to Nigeria.
- TopBrass Aviation will likely get a third Dash 8-Q300 (5N-TBA; ex-5N-BIA). The aircraft is currently stored at Maastricht, but flew in Nigeria in the past with Aero.
- Overland Airways’ second ATR 72-200 (5N-BPF; ex-F-WNUF) was spotted in Toulouse. The B737-800, reportedly, destined for Overland is still stored at Shannon.
- No date has been set for the delivery of Arik Air’s A330s.
- Kabo Air was to get a B747-400 (N135KB), an ex-Corsair aircraft, but is unable to finance the necessary maintenance checks.
- Serious complaints were made about the management and solvency of Kabo Air and MaxAir on a pilots’ forum.
- No news about the start-up airlines Azman Air, Discovery Air, and Hak Air. Discovery Air is set up by First Deepwater Discovery, of which Babatunde Babalola is the MD/CEO. Discovery Air is sourcing B737-300s.
- The B737-200F (5N-BMS) operated on Wings Aviation’s AOC belongs to the former MD of Wings, Nogie Megginson. He also intends to set up a new commercial airline called Jedidiah Air (Jed Air).
- The Nigerian Air Force is sending Alpha Jets (NAF 452 and NAF 455) and MI-35s to Mali, while a C130H and G222 are used for transporting troops.
The officials of Air Côte d’Ivoire, the new carrier in the French-speaking West African country, said they visited Arik Air to seek ways of exploring mutual partnership between the two carriers to resolve the problem intra Africa connections. The officials led by General Coulibaly Abdoulaye, who is chairman of the Air Côte d’Ivoire explained that the visit to Arik Air has afforded them the opportunity to learn how to run a service driven airline, which would become a model in Africa. He explained that the partnership would also equip the carrier with the strategy of achieving how to build a hub for the southern part of Central Africa, remarking that since the former regional carrier, Air Afrique collapsed, there had been no direct air link between Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. He further explained that the best model for building stronger airlines in Africa was through partnership among carriers, insisting that the visit to Arik Air has afforded the officials the window to obtain first-hand experience of running a service oriented airline.
Arik Air has announced various partnerships with West African countries – Leone Airways and Ghana Airways – over the past years, but none of the projects actually materialised, apart from the short-lived Arik Niger.
The Federal Government also appears to be restrictive in allowing other West African carriers to operate into Lagos or Abuja Airport. In recent years, now defunct Air Ivoire and Senegal Airlines were unsuccessful in obtaining landing rights, while Fly540 Ghana, Gambia Bird and Westair Bénin are still awaiting permission to start flights to Nigeria.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Arik Air celebrated that it commenced commercial operations on 30 October 2006. Some of the airline’s achievements and goals were presented by the airline during a press conference:
- The airline carried 10,2 million passengers in the past six years, obtaining a 65 per cent share of the domestic market. Arik has already carried 1,849,436 passengers in 2012.
- The airline plans to build a flight academy in Benin City as well as a maintenance hangar in Lagos in cooperation with Lufthansa Technik.
- Arik Air urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the policy of withholding loans to heavily indebted domestic carriers.
- The airline intends to go public in the near future.
- The Savannah Express service from Lagos to Cotonou, Ouagadougou and Bamako has been suspended due to the unrest in Mali.
- Arik Air will further expand its network next year, including the launch of new direct flights from Accra and Freetown to London. Other cities on the radar are Abidjan, Conakry, Kinshasa, Malabo and Libreville. With regard to long-haul operations, the airline is still looking at the earlier announced Abuja-Kano-Jeddah and Lagos-Houston routes.
- Finally, Arik Air’s chairman shed some light on the acquisition and financing of the two A345s:
Let me give an example, when we were to get the A340-500, the French Finance Minister when we met she said she would give me Airbus aircraft and asked why was I buying Boeing and I said because the Americans give me money and she said we will give you in Europe too and I said okay and she said, I have three Airbus aircraft and I said I will take them. She said you are not up to five years old, why don’t you get the Nigerian banks to give you the guaranty.
This week’s round-up:
- The Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) contracted an A330-200 (N772RD) for this year’s pilgrimage. The aircraft is operated by Ryan International on behalf of Atlasjet Airlines.
- Camair-Co now serves the Douala-Lagos route three times a week.
- A new Kano-based airline, Azman Air, hopes to obtain an AOC soon in order to commence domestic flights.
- The onwer of Millennium Air disclosed that the cargo airline has the intention to commence scheduled passenger services in the near future. Millennium Air now operates a single B727F (5N-BNQ).
- One of Pan African Airlines Bell 206L4, based at Escravos, with two crew and two passengers ran into trouble after taking of from an offshore platform on 27 October 2012. The helicopter successfully ditched into the sea and the occupants were picked up by a rescue boat.
- Delta State Government approved a sum of N37.3 billion to upgrade Osubi Airstrip, Warri, to the status of international airport.
- Aero will lease a B737-400 (N605SC) from Gecas. The fourteen-year-old aircraft is still stored in China; it will be the sixth B737-400 in the airline’s fleet.
- Aero supended its Abuja-Enugu service, but reinstated the flights from Port Harcourt NAF Base to Warri and Lagos.
- A body was found in the undercarriage of one of Arik Air’s A345s today. The plane came in from New York, so it’s likely that it was there already for some time.
- A passenger caused a bomb scare on an Arik Air flight from Maiduguri to Abuja on 24 October 2012.
- One of Arik Air’s CRJ900s (5N-JEA) has been parked at Cologne since this summer.
- Dana Air has contracted FLYHT to install the AFIRS 228 on its five MD-83 aircraft. The airline will use AFIRS to provide real-time flight data monitoring and to assist in achieving maintenance and operational efficiencies.
- One of Kabo Air’s B747-200s (5N-MAD) rejoined the fleet again after maitenance in Indonesia.
- The FAAN has increased security measures at four major airports.
- A Hawker 4000 (N412TF) is also owned by a Nigerian, and registered to Skypower Express Airways.
- The Nigerian Air Forces has acquired two Robinson R66s (N7033V and N804SF) for the Helicopter Flying School at Enugu Airport.
- It appears that Prince Arthur Eze is reviving Triax Airlines. The airline operates two GIVs (5N-PZE and M-PZPZ), but was active as an commercial airline in the 1990s with three B727-100s.
- SkyBird Air’s third Do328Jet (5N-SPM) is still awaiting its delivery flight from Germany to Nigeria. Two other aircraft (5N-SPE and 5N-BMH) are already based at Lagos Airport.
Two prizes for Nigerian carriers:
- Arik Air has been adjudged the Best Security and Safety Conscious Airline in West and Central Africa for the second consecutive year;
- Dana Air was named Nigeria’s best domestic carrier of 2011 by the FAAN.
This week’s round-up:
- Med-View Airline will commence domestic operations next month, as the airline was granted an AOC by the NCAA.
- CHC Nigeria has received an AOC too. The international company will serve the oil and gas industry in partnership with Jagal. CHC was already active on the Nigerian market, but their contract with Aero was terminated in 2010.
- MCM, Maintenance Centre Malta, has received approved maintenance organization (AMO) for their line and base maintenance facility in Malta from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
- The new domestic GAT Terminal at Lagos Airport will be opened on Monday, according to the Minister of Aviation. Arik Air and Overland Airways are the main carriers using the GAT Terminal, while Aero and IRS Airlines are operating from MMA Terminal 2.
- The Minister of Aviation also announced that the Federal Government will create a ‘pool of aircraft’, which can then be ‘hired’ by the domestic airlines.
- The Federal Government will purchase two more VIP helicopters for the Presidential Air Fleet in 2013. The president already has to VIP AW139s (NAF540 and NAF541) at his disposal. To accommodate the growing fleet, a new hangar will be built at Abuja Airport.
- The employees of Uyo Airport blocked access road to the airport on Friday, 19 October, protesting their labour conditions. All flights were cancelled.