The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has released eight new accident report, including the final reports on the:
- Bellview Airlines B737-200 (5N-BFN) crash in 2005:
The AIB, after an extensive investigation, could not identify conclusive evidence to explain the cause of the accident involving Bellview Flight 210.The investigation considered several factors that could explain the accident. They include the PIC training of the Captain before taking Command on the B737 aircraft which was inadequate, the cumulative flight hours of the pilot in the days before the accident which was indicative of excessive workload that could lead to fatigue.Furthermore, the investigation revealed that the airplane had technical defects. The airplane should not have been dispatched for either the accident flight or earlier flights.The absence of forensic evidence prevented the determination of the captain’s medical condition at the time of the accident. The missing flight recorders to reconstruct the flight also precluded the determination of his performance during the flight. Due to lack of evidence, the investigation could not determine the effect, if any, of the atmospheric disturbances on the airplane or the flight crew’s ability to maintain continued flight.
- ADC Airlines B737-200 (5N-BFK) crash in 2006:
The pilot’s decision to take-off in known adverse weather conditions and failure to execute the proper windshear recovery procedure resulted in operating the aircraft outside the safe flight regime, causing the aircraft to stall very close to the ground from which recovery was not possible.
Update: Bellview Airlines disagrees with the findings of the AIB, according to the airline, in a statement, the ‘doctored report is geared to make Bellview the scapegoat with the ulterior motive of abandoning further investigation to find the true cause of the accident’.
In general, air safety in Nigeria has improved since the major crashes in 2005-2006, but still a number of serious incidents in which lives are lost and/or an aircraft is written off occur every year. Not all of them are reported in the press, and only three (the Sosoliso, Wings Aviation and Dana Air crashes) are mentioned on the website of the Accident Investigation Bureau.
- 27 OCT 2012 – 5N-??? – Bell 206L4 – Pan African Airlines – offshore
- 25 OCT 2012 – 5N-BMJ – Cessna 208B Grand Caravan – Private owner – Yola
- 03 JUN 2012 – 5N-RAM – McDonnell Douglas MD-83 – Dana Air – Lagos*
- ?? ??? 2012 – 5N-CAG – Beech 58 Baron – NCAT – Zaria
- ?? ??? 2011 – 5N-BMM – Cessna 560XLS Citation Excel – Pan African Airlines – Port Harcourt
- 28 JUL 2011 – 5N-BKA – AS 350B2 Ecureuil – OAS Helicopters – Ikonifin
- 24 MAY 2011 – N364UZ – Beechcraft King Air C90 – Shawa Engineering – Kaduna
- 11 DEC 2009 – 5N-BKJ – Aerospatiale AS 332L1 Super Puma – Bristow Nigeria – offshore
- 09 OCT 2009 – 5N-BIC – Bell 407 – Gitto Construction – Uyo
- 22 JUL 2008 – 5N-CAV – Socata TB9 Tampico – NCAT – Zaria
- 15 MAR 2008 – 5N-JAH – Beechcraft 1900D – Wings Aviation – Besi*
- 03 AUG 2007 – 5N-BIQ – Bell 412EP – Bristow Nigeria – Eket
- 10 NOV 2006 – 5N-BHU – AS 350B2 Ecureuil – OAS Helicopters – Warri
- 29 OCT 2006 – 5N-BFK – Boeing 737-200 – ADC Airlines – Abuja
- 10 DEC 2005 – 5N-BFD – Douglas DC-9 – Sosoliso Airlines – Port Harcourt*
- 28 NOV 2005 – N73MW – Beechcraft Super King Air 200 – Oriental Energy Resources – Kaduna
- 22 OCT 2005 – 5N-BFN – Boeing 737-200 – Bellview Airlines – Lagos
Incidents involving security agencies:
- 05 JUL 2012 – 5N-BKS – Diamond DA42MPP – PICOMSS – Benin
- 02 MAY 2012 – NAF??? – Chengdu F-7Ni – Nigerian Air Force – Kaduna
- 14 MAR 2012 – 5N-POL – Bell 427 – Nigerian Police – Jos
- 28 OCT 2011 – NAF??? – Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros – Nigerian Air Force – Uyo
- 11 MAY 2011 – NAF??? – Chengdu FT-7Ni – Nigerian Air Force – Gboko
- 22 MAR 2011 – NAF??? – Chengdu F-7Ni – Nigerian Air Force – Kano
- 12 MAR 2010 – NAF950 – Aeritalia G.222 – Nigerian Air Force – Port Harcourt
- 26 JAN 2010 – NN06 – Agusta A109E Power – Nigerian Navy – Port Harcourt
- 28 MAY 2009 – NAF054 – Van’s RV-6A – Nigerian Air Force – Jaji
- 20 APR 2007 – NN?? – Agusta A109E Power – Nigerian Navy – Owerri
- 17 SEP 2006 – NAF033 – Dornier Do228 – Nigerian Air Force – Vende Ikya
Recently, there have been indications that the management of defunct Bellview Airlines is trying to breathe new life into the airline. The airline would be renamed ‘First Nation Airways’ and operate a fleet of A320 aircraft. Airbus has added a new African operator called ‘First Nation Airways’ to its orders and deliveries spreadsheet in August with a fleet consisting of three A320s. If First Nation Airways regains Bellview Airlines’ AOC, it might be possible to actually see Airbus aircraft in Nigeria in the near future.
- Air Nigeria settled the old Virgin Nigeria debt of $237 million with UBA. The airline has now cleared all its outstanding debts.
- Aero re-introduced a fuel surcharge of N500 on all its tickets. The surcharge is now approved by the NCAA.
- Aero announced the introduction of the first mobile web and SMS ticketing service in Africa. The service enables passengers to book and pay for their flight tickets using their mobile phones, and is aimed at empowering more passengers to travel by air regularly.
- Arik Air received the first Air Operator Certificate (AOC) under the new Federal Government mandatory recertification order.
- Two of Arik Air’s four B737s currently abroad for maintenance will return this week. The airline hopes that this will end the disruptions to its flight schedule. The airline is yet to pay its employees for last month though.
- Overland Airways’ ATR42 (5N-BCS) was ferried back to Nigeria after an overhaul at Dinard (France).
- The Federal Government will seek fresh bids for the construction of a second runway at Abuja’s airport after canceling a contract earlier awarded for the project.
- According to rumours the management of Bellview Airlines is trying to make a restart as ‘Nation Airways’ or ‘First Nation Airlines’, operating a fleet of A320s.
Even before Bellview Airlines could operate its newly acquired B767-300ER (5N-BVA), the aircraft has been repossessed by the lessor (Automatic Leasing) and ferried to Miami. The aircraft was painted at Shannon last year but stored since. It’s now even more unlikely that Bellview Airlines will resume flights in May, as is stated on the airline’s website.
The Nigerian airlines are all heavily indebted and have severe financial problems. Read an update on the situation here.
Three short news bits:
- The claimed deal between Nigerian Eagle Airlines (formerly Virgin Nigeria) and Jimoh Ibrahim didn’t work out.
- Air MidWest uploaded its flight schedule (serving Abuja, Lagos and Owerri). It is not clear when the first flight of this new airline will take place.
- The restart of Bellview Airlines has been postponed again till 1 May 2010.
Some bits of news:
Jimoh Ibrahim confirmed in an interview that he acquired Nigerian Eagle Airlines (formerly Virgin Nigeria Airways). Still, no formal comments have been made by the airline’s management.
Bellview Airlines set a new date for the re-start of its operations. Regional and domestic flights will start again on the 2nd of April, while the airline will commence a daily service to London Heathrow on April 24, 2010. Seeing is believing.
Arik Air’s fleet is down to 25 aircraft after the wet-leased aircraft from bankrupt Denim Air were withdrawn. Asky Airlines will fill the gap that Arik Air left in Niger by closing down Arik Niger. The Togo-based airline will start a three weekly Lomé-Niamey-Bamako service.
Ailing president Umaru Yar’Adua was flown into Abuja airport onboard a Saudi Medevac GV (HZ-MS5A) on Tuesday night.
The Nigerian Aviation Fire and Safety Association (NAFSA) condemns the “poor state” of fire cover across airports in Nigeria.
Plans by the Federal Government to bail out the aviation industry may fail, because the airline operators could not reach an agreement about the allocation of the funds.
Yemenia announced it will commence flights to Nigeria soon. Possibly to Kano?
Update of the update: the sale of Nigerian Eagle Airlines to the Nigerian businessman seems to be off and here is another picture of Arik Air’s A330. The aircraft is named ‘Sultan of Sokoto’, surprisingly. An Arik B738 (5N-MJP) is also baptised with this name.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority yesterday revoked the Air Operator Certificates (AOC) of Afrijet Airlines, Bellview Airlines, and Capital Airlines. All airlines suspended their operations last year due to financial problems. Since Bellview acquired a B767-300ER (5N-BVA), but failed to recommence flights as the aircraft is still stored at Shannon. Afrijet returned their two MD-80s (5N-BKO and 5N-BKI) to the lessors, but has four ATR 72-500s on order; it’s unlikely that they will actually get these props. Finally, Capital was operating a single EMB120 (5N-BLN). At one point, there were reports that start-up Red 1 Xpress would acquire Capital as well as their AOC.
Update: The director of the NCAA stated that Bellview and Afrijet haven’t lost their AOC, but merely have to meet some criteria again before being allowed to operated commercial operations.
It will take a long time before two Nigerian operators will fly intercontinental routes again. This is a unique picture, showing an Arik Air A345 and Bellview Airlines B762 side by side at London Heathrow (Terminal 2) last summer.
Just a few minor reports:
Chanchangi Airlines reduced its daily flights between Lagos and Abuja from five to three. The schedule on their website has not been updated however. Reportedly, the airline has serious financial problems.
Bellview Airlines has postponed the re-start of its Lagos-London service to 1 March, 2010. Again, the airline has sold tickets without being able to provide any flights.
An EMB-170 (PT-TQE) destined for Nigerian Eagle Airlines as 5N-VNJ has been ferried from Brazil to Casablanca. It’s unlikely Nigerian Eagle Airlines will take delivery of the aircraft though, as it wil reportedly be leased to Gulf Air.
Nigerian Eagle Airlines introduced special onboard envelopes on flights across its route network this week to raise funds to support the ongoing humanitarian and rescue activities in Haiti.
The governor of Gombe State announced that a second airline will start daily services to Gombe Airport this year. Arik Air currently has a four weekly service from Abuja to Gombe.
The World Bank financed ten fire trucks for Port Harcourt Airport, but overall the Nigerian agencies are slow in implementing other aviation infrastructure projects.
The new Asaba Airport, Delta State, will be ready for operations in April 2010.
Jos Airport was closed this week due to civil unrest. Aero, Arik Air and Overland Airways cancelled their flights to the airport.
Bellview Airlines will not resume its flights from Lagos to London before 28 January, 2010. The airline is still waiting for its new aircraft to be delivered. The airline also failed to meet its obligations to customers travelling from Jeddah to Lagos. Bellview still sells tickets for flights to domestic and regional destinations.
Nigerian Eagle Airlines passed the IOSA-audit again, as its first certification expired in November, 2009. Bellview Airlines’ registration will expire on Monday, December 21, 2009, leaving Nigerian Eagle Airlines the only IOSA certified airline in West and Central Africa. Arik Air and Chanchangi Airlines are currently undergoing an IOSA-audit.
The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program is an internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.
Bellview Airlines postponed its return on the Lagos-London route with a new B763 with another week, untill December 18, 2009. It is not clear if the airline operates any domestic or regional flights with its sole B732.
Note that tickets purchased online are not refunded by Bellview Airlines according to their conditions of carriage.
Bellview did operate some charter flights to Jeddah, but failed to meet the obligations made to to passengers on this route too.
Bellview Airlines recently announced it would commence flights between Lagos and Jeddah on the 19th of November, 2009. It now appears the airline sold tickets without aircraft nor permission to operate the route. Flights to Jeddah are no longer listed as available in Bellview’s online booking system.
The restart of the Lagos-London route has been postponed till 11 December 2009.
Bellview Airlines’ new B767-300 (5N-BVA; ex-N183AQ) is painted at Shannon. It wears a revised livery and is named ‘Faith’. It seems the airline will indeed resume flights between Lagos and London Heathrow on 1 December 2009.
Meanwhile, one of Bellview’s old B762s (N805MT; ex-5N-BGG) is ferried to Victorville for storage.
Arik Niger, as a subsidiary of Arik Air, started flights to five destinations in Niger in May 2009. The scheduled flights to Agades, Maradi, Niamey, Tahoua are partly bookable although not advertised on Arik Air’s website. Flights are operated with two F50s wet-leased from Denim Air. It’s unclear how Arik Niger is developing. Some customers complained about cancellations.
Furthermore, Arik Air operates flights to Accra (two daily flights), Cotonou (frequency unknown), and flies the route Freetown-Banjul-Dakar four times a week. There has been no more news on the earlier announced service from Freetown to London Heathrow. Additional flights and new West-African destinations may be in place now Bellview Airlines left the scene.
Recently, the CEO of Arik Air International, announced that the airline plans to launch flights to Togo, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Egypt. He also said several West African states had approached the airline to help set up a national carrier through a franchise or a joint venture.