Kabo Air, MaxAir, Hak Air and an unknown carrier called Service Air have signed a $60 million maintenance contract with GMF AeroAsia. The Indonesian company will service the aging fleet of the Nigerian airlines. The four B737-400s acquired by start-up airline Hak Air are 19 years old, while the age of Kabo Air and MaxAir’s B747s ranges between 21 and 26 years.
A couple of news bits:
- The House of Representatives insists on banning Dana Air and firing NCAA’s MD Harold Demuren, who defended the re-certification of the airline.
- The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) will start scraping old airplanes that are abandoned at airports next week.
- The NCAA has expanded and revised a part of the civil aviation regulations.
- Some controversy over the acquisition of new trainer aircraft for the International Aviation College, Ilorin. It’s not clear whether the aircraft will be financed by the Federal Government of by the Kwara State Government.
- The Central Bank of Nigeria has increased the Airline Intervention Fund to give the sector a boost.
- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has approved night flight operations at Uyo Airport. The expansion of the airport will be ready in 2015.
- The FAAN has yet another conflict with a concessionaire about a plot of land at Lagos Airport.
- Flights were delayed in the past week due to the Harmattan haze.
- Dana Air has added a fourth, early-morning flight between Lagos and Abuja on weekdays.
- The Nigerian Air Force took delivery of a Hawker 4000 (5N-FGX; ex-N466HB). The aircraft was acquired as part of the renewal of the Presidential Air Fleet; it replaces a Hawker 800 (ex-5N-AGZ; now 5N-BOO).
- Caverton Helicopter’s new Dash 6-400 Twin Otter (5N-SHE; ex-C-GUVA) is on its delivery flight from Canada to Nigeria.
- TopBrass Aviation will likely get a third Dash 8-Q300 (5N-TBA; ex-5N-BIA). The aircraft is currently stored at Maastricht, but flew in Nigeria in the past with Aero.
- Overland Airways’ second ATR 72-200 (5N-BPF; ex-F-WNUF) was spotted in Toulouse. The B737-800, reportedly, destined for Overland is still stored at Shannon.
- No date has been set for the delivery of Arik Air’s A330s.
- Kabo Air was to get a B747-400 (N135KB), an ex-Corsair aircraft, but is unable to finance the necessary maintenance checks.
- Serious complaints were made about the management and solvency of Kabo Air and MaxAir on a pilots’ forum.
- No news about the start-up airlines Azman Air, Discovery Air, and Hak Air. Discovery Air is set up by First Deepwater Discovery, of which Babatunde Babalola is the MD/CEO. Discovery Air is sourcing B737-300s.
- The B737-200F (5N-BMS) operated on Wings Aviation’s AOC belongs to the former MD of Wings, Nogie Megginson. He also intends to set up a new commercial airline called Jedidiah Air (Jed Air).
- The Nigerian Air Force is sending Alpha Jets (NAF 452 and NAF 455) and MI-35s to Mali, while a C130H and G222 are used for transporting troops.
A few bits of news:
- An interesting read: ‘Benefits of Air Transport in Nigeria‘.
- The NCAA has directed the domestic airlines to install the AFIRS system on their aircraft within six months, meanwhile almost all airports, including runway at Lagos Airport used for domestic flights, lack functional runway lighting.
- NAMA has ordered a Beechcraft King Air 350 for its Navigational Aids Flight Inspection and Surveillance (NAFIS), as the HS 125-700 (5N-AVK) caliberation aircraft inherited from the NCAA is “too fast”.
- The House of Representatives has summoned Emirates, Asky, Turkish and Ethiopian to determine whether the Minister of Aviation denied these airlines landing rights at Kano Airport.
- From 1 December 2012, Emirates will operate its two daily Dubai-Lagos flights with B77W equipment, which means a 48 per cent increase in capacity. After replacing the current A345 on the route, the airline will offer 10.000 seats from and to Lagos every week.
- Dana Air is set to resume flights between Lagos and Abuja with two MD83s. The airline is considering the B737 and A319 as replacement aircraft.
- Aero announced it added two B737-400s to its fleet.
- Overland Airways’ B737-800 (EI-EZB; ex-OE-LNJ) will be leased from Austrian Airlines.
- Azikel Air acquired an Agusta A109S Grand (M-AZKL). It’s probably the fifth private helicopter that has been imported to Nigeria this year.
- Dangote Group acquired a Learjet 45 (N104DN).
- Kabo Air has leased a B747-400 (TF-AMY) from Air Atlanta for the remaining Hajj period.
- Regina Air is a possible new Abuja-based start-up airline.
- Air Nigeria’s AOC expired last week.
- The blog is now supported by a twitter account; double entries will be kept at a minimum.
This week’s round-up:
- The Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) contracted an A330-200 (N772RD) for this year’s pilgrimage. The aircraft is operated by Ryan International on behalf of Atlasjet Airlines.
- Camair-Co now serves the Douala-Lagos route three times a week.
- A new Kano-based airline, Azman Air, hopes to obtain an AOC soon in order to commence domestic flights.
- The onwer of Millennium Air disclosed that the cargo airline has the intention to commence scheduled passenger services in the near future. Millennium Air now operates a single B727F (5N-BNQ).
- One of Pan African Airlines Bell 206L4, based at Escravos, with two crew and two passengers ran into trouble after taking of from an offshore platform on 27 October 2012. The helicopter successfully ditched into the sea and the occupants were picked up by a rescue boat.
- Delta State Government approved a sum of N37.3 billion to upgrade Osubi Airstrip, Warri, to the status of international airport.
- Aero will lease a B737-400 (N605SC) from Gecas. The fourteen-year-old aircraft is still stored in China; it will be the sixth B737-400 in the airline’s fleet.
- Aero supended its Abuja-Enugu service, but reinstated the flights from Port Harcourt NAF Base to Warri and Lagos.
- A body was found in the undercarriage of one of Arik Air’s A345s today. The plane came in from New York, so it’s likely that it was there already for some time.
- A passenger caused a bomb scare on an Arik Air flight from Maiduguri to Abuja on 24 October 2012.
- One of Arik Air’s CRJ900s (5N-JEA) has been parked at Cologne since this summer.
- Dana Air has contracted FLYHT to install the AFIRS 228 on its five MD-83 aircraft. The airline will use AFIRS to provide real-time flight data monitoring and to assist in achieving maintenance and operational efficiencies.
- One of Kabo Air’s B747-200s (5N-MAD) rejoined the fleet again after maitenance in Indonesia.
- The FAAN has increased security measures at four major airports.
- A Hawker 4000 (N412TF) is also owned by a Nigerian, and registered to Skypower Express Airways.
- The Nigerian Air Forces has acquired two Robinson R66s (N7033V and N804SF) for the Helicopter Flying School at Enugu Airport.
- It appears that Prince Arthur Eze is reviving Triax Airlines. The airline operates two GIVs (5N-PZE and M-PZPZ), but was active as an commercial airline in the 1990s with three B727-100s.
- SkyBird Air’s third Do328Jet (5N-SPM) is still awaiting its delivery flight from Germany to Nigeria. Two other aircraft (5N-SPE and 5N-BMH) are already based at Lagos Airport.
A few updates:
- Arik Air is planning to float the company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange Market (NSE), meaning that it will become a publicly quoted company.
- A rescue worker tasked with recovery of the black box of Dana Air’s crashed MD-83 claims that it was found in good condition. This contradicts the AIB report that the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) melted in the post-crash fire.
- The NCAA has begun to re-certify Dana Air’s MD83s. The airline is in talks with Boeing to acquire B737s in order to replace its current fleet.
- Boeing has promised that it will assist Nigeria with setting up a MRO facility and it will establish a Boeing Training Hub in Nigeria.
- Arik Air has concluded a new agreement with Lufthansa Technik (LHT) over expanding their support partnership for its B737s and CRJ900s.
- Kabo Air signed a deal with GMF to maintain its fleet of 3xB747-200 and 1xB747-400 for the next three years.
- The Federal Government plans to remove import duties on the importation of aircraft and spares.
- Osun State has awarded a contract for the fencing of Ido-Osun Airport, which is currently under construction.
- Bayelsa State has relocated the site for a new Yenagoa Airport. The new site is located in Kolokuma/Opokuma, Yenagoa and Southern Ijaw LGAs. The soil conditions at the old location were not suitable for heavy construction work, according to the State Government.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) announced that six airlines are approved by the Federal Government for this year’s Hajj pelgrimage. Kabo Air, MaxAir, Med-View Airline, Meridian Airlines, Tradecraft Air and Ethiopian Airlines are the selected carriers, while Hamsel Air Services and Aero Aviation Services will serve as back-up charter airlines. Furthermore, Med-View Cargo, Evergreen and White Aero Ventures are chosen as carriers for the pilgrims’ excess luggage. Around 95,000 pilgrims will be travelling from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia in the last week of September and in the first week of November.
Kabo Air has signed a contract with GMF AeorAsia to peform maintenance on its B747-200 (5N-MAD) and to repaint the aircraft in Kabo’s colours. The aircraft is now wearing a hybrid Northwest Airlines, Biman Bangladesh and Kabo Air livery.
Update: here’s a shot of the resprayed aircraft (5N-MAD).
The Kabo Air B747-200 that was damaged after a collision with a MEA aircraft at Kano Airport last year is apparently back in service. The aircraft was chartered by the Nigerian government to evacuate Nigerians from Libya. Kabo Air used two of its three B742s (5N-MAD and 5N-JRM) for the operation. The airline also evacuated Nigerian nationals from Egypt earlier this year.
After the Nigerian aviation market was liberalised in the early 1990s, many private airlines emerged and the Bac 1-11 became one of their favourite aircraft. Kabo Air and Okada Air were the largest operators and served many airports for relatively low fares. In 2002 the Bac 1-11 was banned in Nigeria after a couple of ghastly accidents in which the aircraft was involved. Many of the airlines went down and the Bac 1-11s were stored at airports around the country. Most notably in Benin, where derelict aircraft can still be seen around the old Okada Air hangar.
A comprehensive list of Bac 1-11 operators in Nigeria can be found here. All of them were second-hand aircraft, although in 1970 a Bac 1-11 was painted in Nigeria Airways colours for demonstration flights. The national carrier never ordered the aircraft.
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.
MaxAir announced it will fly 36,000 pilgrims (43% of the total number) to Saudi Arabia this year, following the allocation by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). The airline will use its three B743 aircraft for the operation and keep a fourth as standby aircraft.
Kabo Air, Meridian Airlines and Medview Airline will be responsible for carrying the remaining Hajj pilgrims. Meridian and Medview will have to wet-lease aircraft for this end, while Kabo Air may employ its B742 aircraft.
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 Federal Government has approved Kabo Air, MaxAir, Meridian Airlines and Medview Airline as official carriers to airlift Nigerian pilgrims during the Hajj of 2010.
- 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 CEO of Air Nigeria, Kinfe Kahssaye, announced that the carrier is in the process of leasing another three or four 737s – all older variants – which will bring its fleet to around 11 aircraft in three months’ time. Air Nigeria also intends to modernise by leasing ‘a number’ of modern-variant Boeing 737s ‘in the near future’. He says the airline plans to introduce them in the first half of 2011.
- The ERJ-145LR (5N-BJM) owned by the Bauchi State Government is now leased to Kabo Air and recently received the airline’s livery.
- Arik Air delayed the introduction of the A332 (5N-EIA) again; the aircraft is still at Châteauroux. The airline will now switch an A345 from the Lagos-London route to the Lagos-Johannesburg route to cope with the World Cup traffic. Flights to London will be operated with a B738.
- Media reports that CHC Helicopter and Aero Contractors had severed their business relationship are incorrect. Although Aero is facing challenging times, CHC Helicopter continues to support its business partner and to provide flying services for oil and gas industry.
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.
Last year an airline called Tradecraft Air (sometimes referred to as Trade Craft Air) was designated to carry pilgrims from Ilorin and Lagos to Jeddah. Reportedly, the company used two leased B767s. Tradecraft Air now appears to have acquired a B767-300 of its own. This means that the airline joins Kabo Air and MaxAir as pilgrims charter carrier in Nigeria.
Update: it’s an ex-Delta B767-300 (serial 23436).
An unconfirmed report says that a MEA A330 yesterday damaged its left winglet after taxiing into Kabo Air’s B747-200 (5N-JRM). The second aircraft suffered some damage too. The airport is full of parked aircraft at Kano and it appears that the tarmac was badly lighted.
Earlier this week, on Monday, an AirFrance B777 aborted take-off at Lagos Airport because of a technical problem, resulting in a burst tire.