- 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.
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 Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) experienced a major setback in its legal battle with Bi-Courtney, the company operating MMA Terminal 2, about the ownership of/right of operation from the General Aviation Terminal at Lagos Airport. The High Court in Abuja ruled that
They [FAAN] are therefore restrained, prevented or prohibited from operating scheduled flights in and out of Lagos State from any airport terminal other than MMA2 or an airport terminal owned/operated by the plaintiff [Bi-Courtney] during the concession period as stipulated in the Agreement.
Bi-Courtney said it is ready to take over the recently renovated General Aviation Terminal from FAAN, since GAT ‘was declared an integral part of the MMA2 concession by the decision of the Federal High Court in 2009’.
Initially, FAAN’s spokesman said he was not aware of the ruling, but the agency later stated that the court order referred to is not existent and that FAAN will continue to run the domestic GA Terminal (now called Domestic Terminal 1) at Lagos.
Meanwhile, FAAN announced that the renovated terminal at Benin Airport will be ready for commissioning soon, the terminals at Enugu and Port Harcourt will follow later. The Port Harcourt project is handled by Inter-Bau Construction.
- 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.
Apparently, the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS), a security outfit, operates a 2001-built Cessna 206H Turbo (5N-BKT) for surveillance work. PICOMSS also has a Beechcraft 350 King Air (5N-BMP) and a Diamond DA42 MPP (5N-BKS); the latter was involved in a landing incident at Benin Airport in July 2012.
Some news bits:
- An IRS Airlines F100 (5N-SAT) brushed a sewage truck stuck along the taxiway with its wingtip at Lagos Airport on Wednesday, 10 October. No one was hurt in this minor incident and the damage to the aircraft was minimal.
- The Federal Government plans to abolish all duties and taxes on the import of aircraft and aircraft spares in 2013. The proposed 2013 Federal Ministry of Aviation Budget can be found online here.
- Four new airlines will commence domestic operations in Nigeria in the coming months with the support of the Ministry of Aviation, which intends to break the virtual duopoly of Arik Air and Aero.
- Dana Air is ready to recommence commercial flights next week if all the necessary approvals are obtained in time.
- According to the owners, the MMA Terminal 2 doesn’t generate enough income to maintain the terminal.
- Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporations has donated 300 seats for the departure hall of Benin Airport.
- The MD of Air Nigeria has resigned from his position, as it’s unlikely that the airline will ever resume operations.
- Two new companies are based at the EAN Hangar at Lagos: AeroFleet and Esperanza Air Services.
- Anyone an idea who owns this Challenger 300 (VP-BJT)? The jet has been based at Lagos for a while.
- The DA42, with a camera mounted on its nose and green/grey cheatlines, on the image below (click to enlarge) is registered 9H-AEV, and operated from Abuja Airport by AeroPrecisa
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.
A Diamond Twin Star (DA42 MPP, registered 5N-BKS), operating as a light surveillance aircraft for PICOMSS, made a gear-up landing at its base, Benin Airport, this morning around 11 o’clock. The two occupants were unhurt. The airport was closed for some time after the incident, but is now back open.
- Air Nigeria will use an A330-200 (24/244 configuration) for its three weekly service to London Gatwick and Johannesburg in May. Service to London will become daily in June after the arrival of a second aircraft. The schedules are now available and flights can be booked online.
- CAPA made an analysis of the available seats from Lagos to London and Johannesburg.
- Maintenance Centre Malta now offers EASA line maintenance capabilities for Bombardier, Dornier, and Cessna products at Lagos Airport with its partner Evergreen Apple (EAN).
- AeroMechanical Services has signed a contract with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to provide a Safety Management System Dashboard.The SMS Dashboard will expand the current tracking and real-time alerts for the NCAA to monitor all Nigerian registered aircraft equipped with satellite based tracking solutions and data collection hardware.
- Benin Airport recorded 348,906 passengers in 2010 and 323,545 passengers in 2011. The number of aircraft movements also fell from 7,081 to 6,791 in this period, after Air Nigeria cancelled its flights to Benin and Associated Aviation and Aero decreased their frequencies.
- British Airways and Virgin Atlantic were questioned by the Nigerian House of Representatives about the ‘regional price disparity‘ and alleged tax evasion. The Punch had an excellent commentary on the ‘Controversy over foreign airlines’ excessive charges‘.
- The Airlines Operators of Nigeria have asked the Federal Government to investigate how aviation agencies spent their Internally Generated Revenue. They argue that the various airport taxes being charged at the local and international airports are not justifiable and that the charges are high compared to the services the agencies are offering.
- The Saab 340 (N340SS) previously operated for Fresh Air and Overland Airways is now stored at Rand Airport.
- Enugu Airport is currently closed for reparation works.
Contrary to earlier reports, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has not yet closed Enugu Airport for maintenance work. However, Enugu Airport and Benin Airport will probably be closed in April 2012 for runway renovation.
The FAAN also announced it will undertake a public auction of the old abandoned aircraft at the various national airports.
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.
After the Nigerian aviation market was liberalised in the early 1990s, many private airlines emerged and the Bac 1-11 became one of their favourite aircraft. Kabo Air and Okada Air were the largest operators and served many airports for relatively low fares. In 2002 the Bac 1-11 was banned in Nigeria after a couple of ghastly accidents in which the aircraft was involved. Many of the airlines went down and the Bac 1-11s were stored at airports around the country. Most notably in Benin, where derelict aircraft can still be seen around the old Okada Air hangar.
A comprehensive list of Bac 1-11 operators in Nigeria can be found here. All of them were second-hand aircraft, although in 1970 a Bac 1-11 was painted in Nigeria Airways colours for demonstration flights. The national carrier never ordered the aircraft.
Air Nigeria will commence daily flights from Lagos to Benin City on the 1st of July 2010. Schedule:
- LOS-BNI VK103 14:40-15:50 (Weekdays)
- LOS-BNI VK101 08:00-09:10 (Saturdays)
- LOS-BNI VK103 15:20-16:30 (Sundays)
- BNI-LOS VK103 16:25-17:40 (Weekdays)
- BNI-LOS VK101 09:45-11:00 (Saturdays)
- BNI-LOS VK103 17:05-18:20 (Sundays)
The new web address of Air Nigeria will be http://www.myairnigeria.com.
A few updates:
- Arik Air silently accepted a new A330-200 (5N-EIA) this week, but the introduction of the aircraft on the LOS-JNB route is delayed till June 7.
- Virgin Nigeria/Nigerian Eagle Airlines will increase its daily number of flights between Lagos to Abuja from four to seven, effective June 14. One of its three B733s (5N-VND) was ferried to Shannon, perhaps for a new coat of paint.
- Shell Nigeria signed a $630 million aviation logistics deal with Caverton Helicopters, partly because of the new Nigerian Content Development Act. Caverton and its technical partner DanCopter from Denmark will replace Bristow Helicopters.
- The Central Bank of Nigeria extended a N500 billion fund meant to stimulate credit to the power and manufacturing sectors to support the aviation industry. Airlines can now partake from the fund and those that are indebted to banks can refinance their loans and amortise them over a period of ten to fifteen years.
- Delta Air Lines will commence its seasonal direct Abuja – New York JFK service on the 3rd of June, substituting the flights via Dakar. The three weekly flights will be operated with a B763. This means direct competition for Arik Air’s three weekly Lagos – New York JFK service.
- Delta Air Lines and Virgin Nigeria are still working on a codeshare agreement.
- The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is set to award a contract for the expansion of both the arrival and departure halls of Benin Airport.
- The opening of the new Asaba Airport is delayed till December 2010.
There is a picture of a Shorts SH-330 (5N-AOX) in the Okada Air colours, with additional ‘Niger Express’ titles. I cannot recall any sighting of this aircraft in Nigeria – just as of this DC-10 (5N-OGI) in Okada Air colours.
Okada Air was the biggest privately owned airline in Nigeria so far. It popularised air travel in the late eighties and early nineties of the 20th century, operating a huge fleet of BAC 1-11s and B727s. Most of the aircraft are still stored at Benin Airport today. Its owner wrote a short history about the airline.