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.
- 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.
The Federal Government has concluded the arrangements with Chinese investors and construction companies for the construction of five new passenger terminals and six new cargo terminals. The deal is part of the second phase of the Aviation Road Map of the Ministry of Aviation. New international terminals as well as cargo terminals will be built at Abuja, Enugu, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt, while Asaba is the sixth airport to get a cargo terminal. Work on the new terminals will commence in December 2012 and should be completed within nineteen months.
Jos Airport has also been designated as a cargo airport by the Federal Government. The airport is currently being refurbished as part of the first phase of the airport remodelling exercise.
Meanwhile, travellers are complaining about the new GA terminal at Lagos Airport. The terminal was inaugurated before being completed and delivered by the contractor, ArchiVisual Solutions. For example, the air conditioning and conveyor belts are not yet functional.
- Arik Air took the blame for the incident at Jos Airport last week, when one of its B737s clipped wings with a Nigerian Air Force aircraft.
- President Goodluck Jonathan announced that the Federal Government is close to setting up ‘a new national carrier largely driven by the private sector but with substantial public ownership’. His administration is working towards the construction of a Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) hangar too.
- The Federal Government also considers to make the International Airline Transport Association Safety Audit (IOSA) mandatory for Nigerian airlines.
- The National Assembly has proposed a ban on aircraft older than twenty years in Nigeria, but the Minister of Aviation seeks to limit the age of aircraft to fifteen years. A ban on aircraft older than twenty years was already announced by the Federal Government in 2010.
- Fire destroyed one of the gates of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Thursday, 19 April 2012.
- The Federal Government has approved Atlas Jet and KS Travel/Empire Aviation as carriers for this year’s Christian pilgrimage.
A quiet week:
- On Saturday, 14 July, a taxiing Arik Air B737-700 (5N-MJI) lost its left winglet as it hit the wing of a parked Nigerian Air Force C130 Hercules aircraft at Jos Airport. According to a NAF spokesman:
An Arik Airline Boeing 737-700 with registration No 5N-MJI on a routine flight to Lagos brushed the wing of a parked Nigerian Air Force C-130 (NAF 917) at the Yakubu Gowon Airport, Heipang Jos. he incident happened at about 1345hrs today when the Arik aircraft was taxiing at the airport tarmac in preparation for take-off. The tank 1 wing tip of the NAF C-130 was damaged while the wing of the Arik aircraft was dismembered and hung on the NAF aircraft. There was no casualty recorded during the incident, however, the 2 aircraft had to abort their missions. The NAF C-130 was in Jos to airlift students of the Air Force Military School and Air Force Girls Military School. Meanwhile, a joint investigation by the Nigerian Air Force and Arik Airline management has commenced.
- Arik Air blames FAAN for the incident:
The markings on the tarmac of the Jos Airport are old markings which did not take into cognizance the use of bigger aircraft like Boeing 737-700 or 737-800 which we have in our fleet and are capable of misleading pilots during taxing. We hope this incident will make FAAN to re-do those markings.
- Caverton Helicopters has been appointed an AgustaWestland authorised service centre for the AW139 helicopter in Nigeria.
- A Nigerian helicopter flying school – the recently opened international helicopter flying school of the Nigerian Air Force at the 305 Flying Training School, Enugu – is planning to operate Robinson R66 training helicopters. Other aviation schools that are planning to offer helicopter training are NCAT, Kaduna, and IAC, Ilorin.
- The completion of the remodeling of eleven domestic airports is delayed according to the Ministry of Aviation.
Yakubu Gowon Airport, Jos, is currently undergoing renovation work. The terminal building will be expanded, the car park moved further away from the terminal building, and several other technical improvements will be made. Security measures will also be implemented, as the movement of passengers through the airport fell from 82,393 in 2010 to 50,612 in 2011 due to political and civil unrest. Arik Air is the only airline that operates scheduled flights to the airport.
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.
Aero announced it will – effective from 1 October 2010 – discontinue its daily flights from Lagos to Jos and Kaduna. Flights into the cities were launched in November 2009, but Aero says the routes are financially not viable.
Kaduna Airport is now served by Arik Air and IRS Airlines, while Arik Air and Overland Airways fly to Jos Airport.
An Aero B737-500 (5N-BLE) performing flight AJ345 from Lagos to Jos overran the wet runway while landing in Jos at around 18:00h on Saturday, 21 August. The Boeing aircraft came to a stop with nose gear and left main gear on soft ground. No injuries occurred among the 87 passengers and five crew, both nose wheel tyres deflated. The airline said that both nose gear tyres were punctured while landing in Jos. All occupants disembarked safely, no additional damage occurred to the airframe.
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.
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.