- 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.
Rivers State Government has acquired a new Bombardier Global 5000 (N565RS). The brand new jet, which has a price tag of $45.7 million, will arrive at Port Harcourt Airport on 7 October 2012. The new jet will replace the state’s current Embraer Legacy 600 (5N-RSG) of the state governor, which has become too expensive to maintain according to government officials. Rivers State also owns an AW139 helicopter (5N-RSN), which is now leased to Aero. In exchange, however, Aero operates a Sikorsky S76C+ (5N-VIP) in VIP configuration for the Rivers State Government. A Bombardier Dash 8-Q200 (5N-GRS) was sold by Rivers State to Cross River State for $6 million. Aero will operate this turboprop for the Cross River State Government on the Calabar-Bebi (Obudu Ranch) route.
Some pictures of the ongoing airport renovation programme can be found on the website of the FAAN: Calabar, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. They give a bit of an idea of what can be expected from the remodelling exercise. In the cases of smaller airports, it would have been a better and perhaps cheaper option to build complete new terminals and knock down the old ones altogether. All domestic operations at Lagos airport should have been moved to MMA2 until the completion of the new GA terminal, rather than continuing operations from this temporal terminal. Hopefully, the contractors will deliver a proper job, as they are being pressured to finish the work quickly.
The Federal Government has decided to construct a second runway at Abuja Airport. The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, declared that the expansion of Abuja Airport is part of the ongoing renovation of airports across Nigeria. In 2010, a contract for the construction of a new runway awarded to Julius Berger for $423 million was revoked because of the high cost. Oduah listed her achievements and plans at a meeting marking the first anniversary of President Jonathan’s administration. The Aviation Minister is also criticised for the way her transformation agenda is being financed.
Renovation work at Enugu Airport is far from complete (this is how it looks from the outside), despite the airport being open again. Images of construction work at Port Harcourt Airport and Calabar Airport.
The Federal Government and Chinese investors have reached an agreement for the latter to build state-of-the-art terminals at four major airports in Nigeria, including Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
- Aero has doubled its daily flights from Lagos to Calabar, Kano and Uyo (schedules).
- Aero’s fourth B737-400 (5N-BOB) was ferried to Lasham for painting.
- Arik Air will end its lease and lease back construction with HiFly soon. The two A345s will be transferred to the Nigerian registry and operated on Arik’s own AOC. CS-TFX will become 5N-JIA and CS-TFW will be re-registered 5N-JIB.
- Intrepid Aviation has denied that it will be leasing (up to) four A330s to Arik Air.
- Arik Air’s B738 (5N-MJP) returned into service after maintenance work at Smith Reynolds Airport.
- EgyptAir is reported to have agreed a one-year wet-lease of two of its A330-200 aircraft to Air Nigeria from May and June 2012.
- FirstNation Airways has temporarily suspended its daily Lagos-Port Harcourt flight due to the lack of operational aircraft.
- Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates have signed an air services Memorandum of Understanding, which allows an increase in all-cargo frequency entitlements for the designated carriers of the two countries.
- A new start-up, Gambia Birds, is planning to commence flights between Banjul and Lagos.
A few short updates:
- Aero has postponed plans to operate commercial flights from its Lagos private terminal, after protests from Bi-Courtney, the owner of MMA2.
- Air Nigeria will commence flights from Lagos to Kano via Abuja on 2 November 2010.
- The Nigerian Police took delivery of a new Bell 412 helicopter (5N-LEH) this week. It also operates 5N-KSH.
- The Bauchi State Embraer 145 (5N-BJM) is now leased to Associated Aviation.
- Biman Bangladesh was barred by its government from leasing a 26-year-old B742 from Kabo Air for the Hajj flights.
- A Gabon based airline called RegionAir now offers flights from Port Harcourt to Douala, Port Gentil, Pointe Noire and Luanda. The airline intends to add Calabar and Malabo to its network shortly.
- Reportedly, permission was granted to Asky Airlines to start flights from/to Lagos per 31 October 2010.
Some bits of news over the past week:
- United Airlines delayed the start of planned flights to Lagos, Nigeria, because of regulatory issues.
- The FAAN has completed the installation of the airfield lighting system at Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.
- Bristow has signed a $1.5m agreement with the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, for the provision of technical support.
- An Arik Air B737-700 (5N-MJE) was hit by a bird at Calabar Airport on 26 April 2010.
- Although Arik Air withdrew the A330-200 from its schedule, a spokesman of the airline assured that the aircraft will be deployed on the Lagos-Johannesburg route before the start of the World Cup.
- Aero had to ground the aircraft it leases from CHC, mainly the helicopters and Dash 8s used for the oil and gas industry, as the airline could no longer pay the bills.
- Dapo Olumide tendered his resignation as CEO of Nigerian Eagle. The COO of the airline, Kinfe Kahssaye, is appointed as his successor.
- Does anyone know which individuals or institutions are behind the new charter airline TopBrass Aviation? Its CEO, Roland Iyayi, was Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). He was arrested by the EFCC in 2008 for misuse of the N19.5 billion Aviation Intervention Fund.
A man crashed his car through two security gates and into a parked Arik Air B737-700 (5N-MJJ) at Calabar airport on Wednesday afternoon at 2:45pm. No one was hurt in the incident, but the aircraft was seriously damaged. The driver of the car is arrested. The man, who carried a huge bible and a cross and who claimed that he is Jesus Christ (click to see a picture from another angle), declared that he had made the desperate move to save the aircraft from an impending crash. According to a news report:
The man, whose identity could not be ascertained, boasted in an Akwa Ibom dialect that, “I am launching a war against the ungodly persons in Nigeria, and the war has just started. Until Nigerians give their lives to God the war will not stop. “I am not afraid of anything. Jesus was not afraid. Where is (President Umaru) Yar’Adua? Where is (Cross River State Governor Liyel) Imoke? There he is with his black cap,” shouted the suspect, who appeared to be mentally unstable.
Engineers of Arik Air arrived at the airport for an on-the-spot assessment yesterday. They jacked up the plane in order to remove the car. Passengers were flown to Abuja with another aircraft. The two gates of the Air Force station have partially collapsed.
Nigerian Eagle Airlines dropped Calabar from its schedule as of this week. The airline is now down to six domestic destinations. The three weekly service from Abuja to Accra has been cancelled too.
However, the airline increased frequencies from Lagos to several of its destinations:
- Daily: Lagos-Owerri-Lagos, Lagos-Douala-Lagos, Lagos-Kano (via Abuja)
- Four weekly: Lagos-Libreville (via Douala)
- Thrice weekly: Lagos-Monrovia (via Accra), Lagos-Cotonou-Abidjan-Cotonou-Lagos, Abidjan-Dakar-Abidjan (New Route)
According to Nigerian agencies, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA), Lagos, has complied with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards on aviation security.
Meanwhile, ASECNA certified the navigational aids at eight Nigerian airports: Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Sokoto, Owerri, and Ilorin.
Nigeria recorded a considerable growth (17%) in passengers numbers in the first two quarters of 2009.
IRS Airlines makes new appointments and announces the acquisition of new aircraft to resume its services to Calabar and Enugu. Flights to both cities commenced in March 2009, but have since been suspended.
According to the latest known schedule IRS Airlines serves Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Maiduguri and Yola with two F100s, two F28s, and an ERJ 145LR leased from the Bauchi State government. The airline has no functional website.
One of the F100s (5N-HIR) is currently at Bratislava for scheduled maintenance with Austrian Airlines Technik.