This week’s updates:
- Domestic airline are considering to stop flights to Kano, Maiduguri and Yola due to the insecurity in the northern regions of the country.
- Only two of IRS Airlines’ five F100s are operational at the moment. The airline now operates flights to Abuja, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos.
- ATR presented its turboprops to the Federal Government last week.
- New en route air traffic control radar for the Nigerian flight information region should be operational by April 12, according to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
- Nigeria is setting up an Air Disaster Assistance Scheme.
- The Federal Government has approved US-based company Associated Air Center (AAC) to become an authorized maintenance organisation for the Presidential Air Fleet.
- The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is going back to court hoping to terminate its agreement with the owners of Lagos MMA Terminal 2. Furthermore, FAAN cancelled the lease of two plots of land to Bi-Courtney on which a hotel and conference centre were to be constructed.
- A good commentary on the consequences of political interference in the Nigerian aviation sector.
- The NCAA is trying to resolve the labour conflict between Aero and its staff. Anyhow, the airline’s operational capability has to be re-validated by the NCAA before it can resume operations.
- Evergreen Apple will organise the first Nigerian Business Aviation Conference on 7 May 2013.
- Bristow Nigeria will soon take delivery of a Sikorsky S-76C (ex-G-CGRU), which left Norwich earlier this week for Lagos.
- 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.
A couple of updates:
- Aero took delivery of its sixth B737-400 (5N-BPQ; ex-N605SC) this week.
- One of Dana Air’s MD83s (5N-SRI) was ferried back to Abuja, after maintenance checks in Istanbul.
- Reportedly, Arik Air will get a second A332 (5N-JID/EI-EWG; ex-Kingfisher). But the first A332, ‘The Lady of Grace’, is still stored at Bordeaux for unknown reasons, so it will take a while before the aircraft will enter service, if it ever does.
- IRS Airlines signed an agreement with Turkish Airlines to cooperate with regard to staff training and aircraft maintenance.
- The two VVIP-helicopters ordered for the Presidential Air Fleet have been identified as AW101s. It seems that the order for a Hawker 4000 has been cancelled, since the aircraft manufacture entered bankruptcy.
- Delta Air Lines celebrates five years of service to Nigeria: ‘More than 570,000 passengers have flown on Delta’s flights between Nigeria and the United States since 2007 and this year Delta has seen strong load factors of over 80%. Additionally, over the last 5 years, Delta has transported around 6,500 tons of cargo between Nigeria and the U.S., facilitating trade and commerce between the two nations.’
- EgyptAir will increase its capacity on the Cairo-Abuja route in December 2012 and January 2013, as A330-200 is to operate on selected periods instead of Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) will divide the Lagos Area Control Centre into two sectors per 17 December 2012, meaning that an additional radio frequency (120.9 MHz) will be created to relieve the heavily congested existing radio frequency (127.3 MHz). Meanwhile, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) warns that air safety is under threat due to the bad state of communication facilities.
- None of the airports in Nigeria are ICAO approved.
- Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) has announced that it achieved approved maintenance organisation (AMO) certification from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
- There is a new issue of Arik Wings out.
A quiet week:
- NAMA has switched to an automated flight plan system on 15 November 2012.
- The Ministry of Aviation revoked its agreement with Lufthansa. Since 2008, the airline was exempt of royalties, as long as it assisted the Federal Government in developing a MRO-facility.
- The National Assembly joint committee on Aviation has written a report on state of the aviation industry.
- Nigeria and Pakistan will sign a Bilateral Air Service Agreement.
- The Federal Government has ordered a Cessna Citation Sovereign as an air ambulance for NEMA.
- The Federal Government has spent N15 billion on an upgrade of navigational aids, according to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
- The Federal Government has approved a sum of N13.9 billion for a terminal building, control tower and power house at Yenagoa Airport, Bayelsa State.
- IRS Airlines was ordered by a court to pay N2 million to a customer, in compensation for a cancelled flight between Abuja and Yola.
- Has anyone heard about this new project: Discovery Air?
- So far, 87 corporate and private jets based in Nigeria have been identified. But according to the Ministry of Aviation, there are over a hundred business jets in the country. Therefore, any help with identifying the remaining ones is appreciated.
This week’s round-up:
- Med-View Airline will commence domestic operations next month, as the airline was granted an AOC by the NCAA.
- CHC Nigeria has received an AOC too. The international company will serve the oil and gas industry in partnership with Jagal. CHC was already active on the Nigerian market, but their contract with Aero was terminated in 2010.
- MCM, Maintenance Centre Malta, has received approved maintenance organization (AMO) for their line and base maintenance facility in Malta from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
- The new domestic GAT Terminal at Lagos Airport will be opened on Monday, according to the Minister of Aviation. Arik Air and Overland Airways are the main carriers using the GAT Terminal, while Aero and IRS Airlines are operating from MMA Terminal 2.
- The Minister of Aviation also announced that the Federal Government will create a ‘pool of aircraft’, which can then be ‘hired’ by the domestic airlines.
- The Federal Government will purchase two more VIP helicopters for the Presidential Air Fleet in 2013. The president already has to VIP AW139s (NAF540 and NAF541) at his disposal. To accommodate the growing fleet, a new hangar will be built at Abuja Airport.
- The employees of Uyo Airport blocked access road to the airport on Friday, 19 October, protesting their labour conditions. All flights were cancelled.
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
Arik Air and IRS Airlines have suspended their flight operations to Kaduna Airport, citing the insecurity in Kaduna State. IRS Airlines announced it will resume operations immediately after the imposed curfew is lifted by the authorities.
IRS Airlines is celebrating its tenth anniversary this week, which makes it one of the oldest private scheduled carriers in Nigeria. IRS Airlines currently operates five F100s as well as a single F28, and flies from Lagos to Abuja, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Maiduguri, and Yola.
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.
A few short updates:
- Arik Air has officially passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).
- Angry villagers near Kaduna Airport blocked an IRS Airlines aircraft from taking off to protest the closure of a footpath near the airport by the FAAN.
- The Federal Government has granted Kenya Airways permission to operate 14 flights a week into Lagos and four flights a week into Abuja. Meanwhile, the authorities still have to approve Ethiopian Airlines’ request to operate a B777-200LR on the Addis Ababa-Lagos route.
- Several projects are ongoing to improve the aviation infrastructure in Nigeria.
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.
A few bits of news:
- The first international flight from Akwa Ibom Airport, Uyo, will be operated on 8 January 2011. Sky Airlines will operate the charter flight and carry 215 Christian pilgrims to Tel Aviv, Israel, with a B737-900. An A330-200 will carry another 324 pilgrims next week. This is the first widebody airline to land in Uyo.
- IRS Airlines will acquire three more F100s this year and intends to open the Abuja-Calabar route. Calabar would be the airline’s eight domestic destination.
- The FAAN has acquired 5 fire tenders for Lagos Airport, new toilets have been installed at the airport, and the agency promised to boost power supply.
- The FAAN also increased security measures at the airports throughout Nigeria.
The new domestic terminal building of Mallam Aminu International Airport, Kano, will be commissioned on 27 January 2011.
- Ekiti State has to speed up the commencement of work on the new Ekiti Airport.
- Arik Air aims to consolidate its position in the new year and expand a little bit in West-Africa. The airline also hopes to carry Christian pilgrims from Enugu Airport to Israel.
- Air India may resume flights from Mumbai to Lagos this year, meanwhile China Southern has again cancelled the announced Guangzhou-Dubai-Lagos service.
IRS Airlines had a B727 (5N-RIR; in a basic American Airlines livery with additional ‘8th All Africa Games 2003’ titles) stored at Lanseria (South Africa) since 2003. Reportedly, the aircraft is now cut into four pieces and will be transported to Swaziland where it will serve as a fire training aircraft.
- IRS Airlines has a booking website again.
- Arik Air postponed the introduction of the A332 due to regulatory issues.
- Air Nigeria’s first newly branded aircraft (5N-VND) returned to Lagos last week. Jimoh Ibrahim declared that in a few weeks, the airline would have liquidated all its debts. Air Nigeria also announced it will add five aircraft to its fleet before October.
- The Bangladesh Ministry of Aviation blocked the extension of the lease of a Kabo Air B747-200 by Biman.
- A Max Air B747-300 carrying Ghanaian football fans was grounded at Johannesburg after it entered South African airspace without approval.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) grounded the flights of Arik Air and IRS Airlines yesterday morning, following their outstanding debts to the aviation agencies. The action was also intended as a signal to other airlines that are not paying the ticket sales tax. Flights resumed in the afternoon after intervention of the Minister of Aviation, and the issue will be further discussed today in Abuja.
Some bits of news over the past week:
- The Bauchi State Government owned EMB145 (5N-BJM) was ferried back to Nigeria. It is unclear if the aircraft will return into service with IRS Airlines or will be leased to Kabo Air.
- Virgin Nigeria is in fresh problems as the GTB Bank tries to recover a $15 million loan. Mud is already being slung to the former CEO Dapo Olumide.
- The Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, announced the State Government will build its own airport to boost trade and other economic activities.
- The Ekiti State Government inaugurated a committee responsible for the implementation of the proposed Ado-Ekiti Airport.
- The Federal Government announced that Katsina Airport will be named in honour of the late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
- The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) asked the Federal Government to allow regional flights from the MMA2 Domestic Terminal as the MMA International Terminal is often marred by power cuts.
- The Star Alliance CEO, Jaan Albrecht, said in an interview that the alliance is looking for a partner in West-Africa, especially in Nigeria.
- The websites of Bellview Airlines and Chanchangi Airlines are deactivated.