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.
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 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.
- The renovated terminal of Benin Airport will be commissioned today.
- A power outage at Lagos Airport last Monday during a rainstorm forced an Emirates aircraft to divert to Lomé.
- Ibadan Airport was closed last Saturday, after a Caverton helicopter blocked the runway with a burst tire.
- After dismantling about fifteen aircraft at Lagos, the FAAN has now started clearing abandoned aircraft at Abuja Airport.
- CAPA made an analysis of the number of seats offered on the domestic and Nigeria-Europe routes.
- According to some insiders, the Federal Government favours Embraer as provider of new aircraft to the domestic carriers.
- Arik Air has expressed interested in acquiring Q400s, CRJ1000s and even the C Series from Bombardier.
- PHCN’s last two MBB Bo-105s (5N-EPA and 5N-BCJ) have been grounded over the past years.
- An enquiry by the Navy revealed that the crash of the A109 helicopter on 15 December last year ‘might have been caused by human error or material failure or both‘.
- Caverton Helicopters has ordered three additional AW139s. The company already operates six helicopters of this type.
- Med-View Airline announced it will soon launch a Abuja-Port Harcourt service. The airline is expecting two B737-800s to join its fleet this month.
- SkyBird Air’s third and last Do-328Jet (5N-BMH, 5N-SPE, 5N-SPM) was ferried from Germany to Nigeria this week.
- Hak Air’s first of four B737-400s (5N-BOT, 5N-BOU, 5N-BOV, 5N-BOW was ferried from Indonesia to Nigeria this week.
- DANA no longer operates a Do 328 (5N-DOW) for Punto Azul.
- Air Zimbabwe plans to start a three-weekly Harare-Accra-Lagos-Harare service, operated by an A320, per 2 April 2013.
The hangar would not only carry out major repairs of Arik aircraft, but other new generation aircraft in the fleet of other domestic airlines in the country. He called on the Federal Government to consider acquiring the Bombardier aircraft type for domestic operators in lieu of its proposal to acquire new aircraft for domestic operations in the country.
Arik Air has been planning to develop a super hangar since its inception in 2006.
A couple of early and unique images (click here to see the whole set) of Kano and Lagos airports emerged on the net. The images are part of a collection formed by a former Nigeria Airways’ station manager at Lagos and Kano (1957-1968). The third picture shows Friendship 7, the capsule in which the first American, John Glenn, orbited the earth in 1962. The spacecraft was also displayed at Lagos during a global tour, called the ‘fourth orbit of Friendship 7’.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) experienced a major setback in its legal battle with Bi-Courtney, the company operating MMA Terminal 2, about the ownership of/right of operation from the General Aviation Terminal at Lagos Airport. The High Court in Abuja ruled that
They [FAAN] are therefore restrained, prevented or prohibited from operating scheduled flights in and out of Lagos State from any airport terminal other than MMA2 or an airport terminal owned/operated by the plaintiff [Bi-Courtney] during the concession period as stipulated in the Agreement.
Bi-Courtney said it is ready to take over the recently renovated General Aviation Terminal from FAAN, since GAT ‘was declared an integral part of the MMA2 concession by the decision of the Federal High Court in 2009’.
Initially, FAAN’s spokesman said he was not aware of the ruling, but the agency later stated that the court order referred to is not existent and that FAAN will continue to run the domestic GA Terminal (now called Domestic Terminal 1) at Lagos.
Meanwhile, FAAN announced that the renovated terminal at Benin Airport will be ready for commissioning soon, the terminals at Enugu and Port Harcourt will follow later. The Port Harcourt project is handled by Inter-Bau Construction.
- 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.
Gambia Bird is planning to start a four-weekly flights from Banjul to Lagos in April 2013. However, it’s not clear whether the airline already obtained permission from the Nigerian authorities to launch this service. The route will be operated with A319 equipment. Schedule:
- 3G2256 Banjul-Lagos-Douala 09:40-14:40 / 15:25-16:25 (Tuesday)
- 3G2257 Douala-Lagos-Banjul 17:10-18:10 / 18:55-21:55 (Tuesday)
- 3G1420 Banjul-Freetown-Monrovia-Lagos 07:30-09:00 / 10:30-11:35 / 12:20-15:50 (Thursday)
- 3G1421 Lagos-Monrovia-Freetown-Banjul 16:50-18:20 / 19:05-20:10 / 20:55-22:25 (Thursday)
- 3G1574 Banjul-Lagos 09:40-14:20 (Friday)
- 3G1575 Lagos-Banjul 15:10-18:10 (Friday)
- 3G1772 Banjul-Dakar-Lagos 13:00-??:?? / ??:??-18:00 (Sunday)
- 3G1773 Lagos-Dakar-Banjul 19:00-22:30 / 23:15-00.05 (Sunday)
- 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.
Allied Air Cargo took delivery of a B737-400 freighter (5N-OTT; ex-N737WF) on 22 January 2013. It’s the first aircraft of this type to join Allied Air’s fleet. The cargo aircraft is painted in DHL/Allied Air Cargo colours. DHL announced in November 2012 that it would base a B734F at Lagos Airport, after obtaining approval from the NCAA to operate domestic cargo flights.
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.
Three new helicopters arrived at Lagos Airport this week. A Bell 429 EMS (5N-NEM) for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as well as a Bell 206L-4 (5N-BZC) for the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, where she will join her sistership 5N-BZB. The third, hidden chopper, a Bell 429 (5N-MDA), is the first of five helicopters of this type for the Police Air Wing.
Aero will later this month commence flight from Lagos to Sokoto via Abuja. Flights are available from 28 January 2013 onwards, and will be operated on weekdays and Sundays. Schedule:
- ABV-SKO AJ251 08:00-09:15
- SKO-ABV AJ252 10:00-11:15
The airline has suspended its Lagos-Warri-Port Harcourt NAF Base-route again.
According to a Zimbabwean newspaper, Air Zimbabwe intends to launch a Harare-Lagos service in March this year.
AIR Zimbabwe (AirZim) will soon exploit the flocking of several Zimbabweans to Nigeria on religious missions by introducing flights to the West African country.
There are very few aviation photographers in Nigeria. Some excellent series of pictures were made by Ken Iwelumo (click here and here) and Akinwale Makinde (click here and here) over the past years, despite the restrictions on photographing at Nigerian airports. Hopefully, more aviation enthusiasts will be able to share the Nigerian aviation scene with the wider world in the near future.
Blogger Chippla Vandu wrote a nice piece on spotting at Lagos in the 1990s a couple of years ago.
Dana Air has resumed commercial operations on Thursday, 3 January 2012. The airline, operating a fleet of five MD83s, operated a single positioning flight from Lagos to Abuja in the afternoon. Scheduled operations will restart on Friday, with a three daily Abuja-Lagos service. Schedule:
- ABV-LOS 9J350 07:20-08:37 (Monday-Saturday)
- ABV-LOS 9J350 09:00-10:17 (Sunday)
- ABV-LOS 9J354 12:06-13:23 (Daily)
- ABV-LOS 9J356 16:29-17:37 (Daily)
- LOS-ABV 9J353 09:45-10:53 (Daily)
- LOS-ABV 9J355 14:22-15:30 (Daily)
- LOS-ABV 9J359 18:36-19:53 (Daily)
Med-View Airline has uploaded schedules for its new daily Abuja-Yola and Lagos-Owerri service:
- LOS-QOW VL2110 07:30-08:45
- QOW-LOS VL2111 09:30-10:45
- ABV-YOL VL2102 10:30-11:40 (Weekdays)
- ABV-YOL VL2102 11:00-12:10 (Saturday)
- ABV-YOL VL2104 13:55-15:05 (Sunday)
- YOL-ABV VL2103 12:30-13:40 (Weekdays)
- YOL-ABV VL2103 13:00-14:10 (Saturday)
- YOL-ABV VL2105 15:45-16:55 (Sunday)
The flights to Yola originate from Lagos, meaning that passengers can travel from Lagos to Yola with a stopover in Abuja.
Med-View Airline carried 32,956 passengers in the first two months of its operations. A B737-800 (CS-TQU) is wet-leased from EuroAtlantic Airways, and a second B737-800 will join the airline’s fleet in March 2013. Med-View will then commence flights to Kano and Sokoto.
Five years after the renovation of the domestic runway (18L/36R) at Lagos Airport, the aviation authorities have installed a temporary civil airfield lighting system (CALKIT) on 25 December 2012. Hopefully, the runway can soon be used for night operations, till a permanent lighting system is procured.
Update: the domestic runway 36R/18L can only be used for depatures at night, not for arrivals, according to a NOTAM.