- 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.
Overland Airways accepted its first ATR 72-200 (5N-BPE; ex-FWNUA); the aircraft arrived at Lagos Airport on 27 October 2012. The turboprop aircraft is configured to carry 70 passengers, and the airline announced it has five more ATR 72s on order. Overland already has three ATR 42-300 and two Beech 1900Ds in its fleet. The airline mainly serves thin domestic routes from Abuja and Lagos to Asaba, Bauchi, Ibadan and Ilorin.
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.
Overland Airways announced it has doubled its frequency from Lagos to Asaba. The airline now offers morning and afternoon flights on weekdays.
- OJ1172 LOS-ABB 08:00-09:00
- OJ1171 ABB-LOS 09:30-10:30
In addition to its service on weekdays, the airline also introduced new flights from Abuja and Lagos to Ilorin on Sundays.
The inaugural training flight at the International Aviation College, Ilorin, took off last Monday. The second licensed aviation college in Nigeria opened its doors in October 2011. The first twelve students commenced flight training this week, but about 50 students will be admitted into the college later this year.
- An interesting analysis of the aviation markets in Nigeria and Ghana. This is also a good commentary on the state of Nigerian aviation.
- The Nigerian Senate has ordered Lufthansa to pay N2.19 billion, being the amount of royalty accrued to the Federal Government from its flight operations from 2009 to October 2011.
- The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has called for an investigation by the EFCC into FAAN’s financial management.
- The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) may request assistance from the EFCC to recover about N22 billion in debts, owed by past and present domestic airlines.
- Harold Demuren has been reappointed as Director General of the NCAA.
- There were bomb scares at Lagos and Abuja Airports this week.
- Lagos State Government has commenced work on the development on the Lekki-Epe International Airport.
- Bayelsa State inaugurated an Airport Development Committee to speed up the construction of an airport in the state.
- The governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai, allegedly acquired a helicopter for himself. The governor already owns two light aircraft and plans to a construct an airstrip near his home village. Meanwhile, the Taraba State Government will soon launch a commercial airline, Air Taraba will have Jalingo Airport as its home base.
- SkyBird Air – a Dornier 328Jet operator – is still awaiting its AOC to commence operations. The airline is apparently owned by a former governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, of Borno State.
- A Dana Air aircraft (5N-SRI) coming from Uyo made an emergency landing at Lagos Airport on 10 May 2012, following a ‘loss of hydraulic pressure’.
- The Air Expo organised by the Nigerian Air Force to mark its 48th anniversary will start next week, 15 May 2012, at Kaduna Air Force Base.
- The Nigerian Navy plans to establish a Naval Aviation Training School in Ilorin Airport, Kwara State.
The International Aviation College, Ilorin, received its first trainer aircraft, a Diamond DA40, last week. For those interested, here are the contact details:
IAC Admission and Inquiries
Phone: +234 (0) 816 171 7817
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Website (inactive): www.iac-ng.com
For more information about the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Kaduna: http://www.ncat.gov.ng.
Overland Airways cancelled its flights from Abuja and Lagos to Jos, Katsina and Minna. It appears these routes are not profitable, even when operated with small propellor aircraft (ATR42 and Beech 1900).
The airline retains a five weekly service (Monday-Friday) between Abuja, Ilorin, Ibadan and Lagos.
Arik Air will resume flights from Abuja to Akure (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) on 8 November 2010. The Lagos-Akure service remains suspended.
Update: Despite the announcement made by Arik Air earlier, the airline also retained a three weekly Abuja-Ilorin-Abuja service (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) according to their spokesman. Flights can be booked on Arik’s website.
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.
The International Aviation College, Ilorin, Kwara State, will open its doors in October 2010. For a start 20 students will be admitted – application process to start in the near future – and within the next three years the number should rise to a 100 students. Ten instructors are currently under training in South Africa and the school acquired four Diamond training aircraft.
Some bits of news over the past week:
- Arik Air will operate a B737-800 on the Lagos-London route till 25 May 2010, due to maintenance on the A345.
- After the rift with the Akwa Ibom State Government, Arik Air now angered the River State Government, after the airline published a negative report about security in Port Harcourt in its in-house magazine The Winds, calling it an unsafe destination. Arik Air terminated its flights to Port Harcourt NAF Base earlier this year, but still flies to Port Harcourt International Airport.
- The Minister of Aviation organised a meeting between Aero and Oceanic Bank to find an amicable solution for the debt issue. In the meantime, Aero is operating all its (helicopter) flights according to schedule again.
- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) reached an agreement with the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) about the payment of debts by the airlines to the agency. Arik Air reportedly paid N50 million as part of a payment plan.
- Virgin Nigeria (briefly known as Nigerian Eagle Airlines) issued a statement, but no further comments were made on the announced name change of the airline.
- VistaJet is expanding in Nigeria. It already has two aircraft based in Lagos and concluded a three-year agreement with Nigerian businessman Kola Aluko.
- The Nigerian Air Force will build a new aircraft maintenance hangar at Ilorin Airport.
- Keep an eye on the website of the NAF for updates on the Air Expo that will be held next week at Kaduna.
- The Senate Committee on Aviation has called for a review of the N64 billion ($426 million) contract for a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The price is ‘far too high, way too expensive and outrageous’, according to the lawmakers.
Overland Airways made some changes to its flight schedule:
- The Jos-Kano service has been dropped; Abuja-Jos-Abuja reduced to two weekly flights;
- Frequencies from Abuja to Katsina and Minna and from Lagos to Minna reduced from five to three weekly flights;
- New hub at Ilorin with five weekly flights to Abuja, Ibadan, Lagos and Minna.
This small airline seems to be stable and doing well compared to other Nigerian carriers.
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.
Overland Airways opened new routes to Jos, Kano, Katsina and Minna this week.
Overland now operates the following routes daily on weekdays:
Overland Airways operates two ATR 42-500s, two or three B1900Ds, and a Saab 340.