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.
- 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.
Chanchangi Airlines has once more resumed scheduled flights from Lagos to Abuja and Kaduna. Chanchangi operates a single B737-300 (5N-BMB), according to the following schedule:
- Kaduna-Lagos 07:00-08:00
- Lagos-Abuja 09:00-10:00
- Abuja-Lagos 11:45-12:45
- Lagos-Kaduna 17:00-18:00
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.
A couple of short updates:
- Nigeria and India are planning to renegotiate their bilateral air service agreement, while Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago may also enter into a BASA.
- Air Algerie wants to start flights from Algiers to Lagos.
- Bombardier as well as Boeing are considering to help Nigeria develop a MRO facility.
- Air Nigeria’s repossessed B737s have been flown out of Lagos.
- The Imo State Government intends to build a new airport terminal at Owerri Airport through a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) agreement.
- Taraba State is planning to build an airstrip on the Mambilla plateau. It would be the second airstrip to be constructed by the State Governor, who also has an airstrip in his home village of Suntai. The state capital’s Jalingo Airport, however, is not yet operational for commercial flights nor has Air Taraba taken of yet.
- The presentation given by the SG of the NCAA at the International Helicopter Safety Symposium 2011.
- Does anyone know more about Private Flyers International? It’s a private flying club, based at Kaduna, operating a fleet consisting of a Cessna 172, a Cessna 206, a Piper PA-23 Aztec (5N-BKE), a Jabiru 430, and a Cessna Caravan.
- The airlines are expected to raise their domestic air fares.
- The Minister of Aviation wants to invite foreign companies to audit the domestic airlines. Experts complain that the Ministry is neglecting the air safety projects.
- FAAN has announced that it will remove 65 unserviceable aircraft from various airports in the country.
This is the last update to be posted on this blog.
- Arik Air lost the impounded A330-200 (5N-EIA) for good. The owner, Amentum Capital, is offering the aircraft for lease again.
- Arik Air formally withdrew the B737-300s (5N-MJA/MJB) from its fleet. One of the B737-700s (5N-MJF) is also taped up and stored at Norwich. A Dash 8-Q400 is currently at Maastricht for maintenance.
- This is the design for the proposed Arik Air Aviation Centre, Lagos. It is unlikely that the terminal/hangar will be built soon, as Arik Air is in financial dire straits and because of the ongoing struggle over the ownership of the GA Terminal at Lagos Airport. Click here for more information and images on the Neumann website.
- Arik Air got approval from the US authorities to start services to Houston. The airline announced an non-stop Houston-Lagos route on its Facebook page. The new routing of its US flight will probably become LOS-JFK-IAH-LOS.
- Air Nigeria will lease a seventeen year old B737-400 from ILFC. The aircraft (5N-VNM), still stored at Istanbul, has slightly smaller titles than the other Air Nigeria aircraft. One of Air Nigeria’s B733s (5N-VNC) has been stored at Shannon for months.
- FirstNation Airways took delivery of three A320s (5N-FNA/5N-FNB/5N-FNC), which are now stored at Lagos Airport. The successor of Bellview Airlines aims to start scheduled services this month between Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. However, the airline might be forced to delay the start of its operations, because it still has to obtain an AOC and its aircraft may be grounded for outstanding debts from Bellview Airlines era.
- This is the first picture of the G550 (5N-FGW) that will soon join the Presidential Air Fleet of the NAF. A second Dassault Falcon 7X (5N-FGV) will follow later this year.
- One of DANA’s Do328s (5N-IEP) was spotted in Bournemouth with an all-white livery.
- This is an election promise made by the governor of Imo State: a new Owerri Airport. The State Government financed the failed Air Midwest project in the past.
- Hangar8, a UK charter company, opened a fixed-base operation (FBO) in Lagos and Abuja.
- The NCAA has inspected all classic B737s in Nigeria. Initially, the B737-300 freighter (5N-BMA) of Axiom Air, operated on Skypower Express’ AOC, was grounded.
- An untitled Nigerian registered B727 freighter (5N-BNQ) was spotted in Poland, probably to pick up election material. The aircraft, registered 5N-BNQ, is owned by Millennium Travel & Tours Ltd, but was operated under Associated Aviation flight code.
- A Hawker 800XP was registered 5N-BNM in Lanseria and is operated by SkyJet Aviation (Barbedos Group).
- Chanchangi Airlines announced that its B737-300s (5N-BMB/BMC) are undergoing heavy maintenance in Belgrade and Johannesburg and may return into service soon. The airline now operates two B733s wet-leased from Jordan Aviation.
- The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority officially commissioned the new Flight Tracking Operations Command Centre in Lagos last month.
- The Federal Government plans to build a new domestic terminal at Abuja.
- IRS Airlines hopes to add more F100s to its fleet this year.
- SkyBird Air took delivery of its first Dornier 328DBJ in February 2011.
- One of the NAF G222s carrying election material made a hard landing at Abuja Airport on Friday, 8 April 2011. Meanwhile, a Mi35 helicopter also deployed for the election made an emergency landing in Bayelsa State.
- The Nigerian Air Force inaugurated two Augusta A109 helicopters at the 305 Flying Training School in Enugu. The helicopters are meant for the training of military and civilian pilots.
- The Nigerian Air Force announced it will organise an Air Expo in 2012.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) temporarily suspended some operations of Aero, Dana Air, Chanchangi Airlines and IRS Airlines yesterday over their inability to pay up their debts to the authority. Explaining that airline operators in Nigeria are not responding positively in paying up their dues, the agency said that it will not hesitate to shut down the operations of persistent defaulters in the sector, adding that the grounding of airlines negatively impact on the travelling public.
Chanchangi Airlines resumed flights from Lagos to Port Harcourt and also announced the resumption of the Lagos-Kaduna route. No flight schedules have been published online though. The airline already operates Lagos-Abuja flights with two B733s (JY-JAD and JY-JAO) wet-leased from Jordan Aviation.
Chanchangi Airlines announced it has suspended all operations until further notice. The airline lacks funds to keep its fleet in the air. The NCAA grounded the airline on several occasions this year, and Chanchangi’s single B737-200 was damaged after a hard landing at Kaduna Airport two weeks ago.
A Chanchangi Airlines’ B737-200 (5N-BIF) operating flight NCH334 from Abuja to Kaduna made a hard landing at Kaduna on Friday, 20 August, at 21:45h. The aircraft, with 35 passengers onboard, had its tyres burst and is said to have hit a tree. None of the passengers was seriously injured. According to another source: “the Boeing aircraft ran into turbulent weather, landing several meters short of the runway and damaging the ILS antenna and many runway lights. The plane’s front landing gear and one of its rear tyres burst in the process while a substantial part of its under-belly was also damaged.” Following the incident, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has grounded the aircraft, while investigations have commenced a probe into the incident.
A few fleet updates:
- Kabo Air acquired a B767-300 (5N-ASG; CN 23436), still stored at Victorville. This aircraft was initially destined for Tradecraft Air. Update this information is incorrect; the aircraft went to a charter airline called 19 Trade Craft.
- The lessor took possession of Air Midwest’s single B737-500 (5N-PVA). The aircraft is re-registered N495MS.
- Chanchangi Airlines announced that one of its B732s (5N-BIH) will soon be back in Nigeria after overhaul in China
Update: Air Midwest’s former B737 (without logo’s and titles) was flown back to Shannon in November 2010.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) grounded Chanchangi Airlines after the airline’s single aircraft developed engine problems at Lagos Airport. Commercial airlines in Nigeria are required to have at least two operational aircraft.
Chanchangi Airlines temporarily suspended its operations following a bird strike suffered by one of its B732s (5N-BIF). The airline has only one operational aircraft left, meaning that they are not allowed to operate commercial flights by the NCAA. Chanchangi intends to resume flights as soon as other aircraft return from maintenance.
The Arik Air B737 (5N-MJJ) involved in the incident at Calabar was ferried to Lagos for inspection and repair. The damage turns out to be less worse than thought.
Chanchangi Airlines has only one operational aircraft at the moment. All other aircraft are grounded or abroad for maintenance checks. The airline has serious financial problems too.
Airlines in Nigeria threatened to stop operations on in the coming week. This decision was made after the NAMA management issued a ‘Pay before Departure’ memo to airlines in Nigeria mandating them to clear their navigational charges on ‘cash and carry’ basis effective from April 9, as most airlines have become ‘perpetual debtors’ to the agency. For instance, Arik Air allegedly is indebted to the NAMA to the tune of $1.5million.
The first two 3D body scanners are being installed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, by the Federal Government.
According to unconfirmed reports Kabo Air suspended its scheduled flights to Cairo, Dubai and Jeddah.
Sudan Airways has resumed operations to Kano Airport this week.
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.