- 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.
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.
Cargo airline Cargolux announced it will commence freighter flights to Port Harcourt on 5 March 2013. The new service will be operated with B747F equipment; it also connects Lagos, Kinshasa and Nairobi with Europe and offers onward connections to and from all Cargolux destinations worldwide.
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.
- 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.
On Monday, 21 January 2012, the renovated General Aviation Terminal at Abuja Airport was inaugurated by the Deputy Speaker of the Senate. The old domestic terminal will now be used for unscheduled flights, as well as the annual Hajj flights. According to the Minister of Aviation:
It was not only that the old domestic terminal at this airport did not meet acceptable international standard, it was also not befitting of an airport in the country’s capital city, which has been described as the fastest growing capital city in the world. The airport also did not have general aviation and cargo terminals irrespective of the fact that it had long become the second busiest airport in the country, after the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja. All these inadequacies have now been addressed, under the airport remodeling project. Work on the remodeling of this terminal, which started in October 2010, entailed the expansion and modernization of the old domestic terminal. This GAT, which will handle all non-scheduled flights at this airport, has a full complement of such modern facilities as lounges, including one for pilots, offices, duty rooms, private airline offices, a conference room, dining hall, shops and a game room, for recreation.
The Minister of Aviation also disclosed that work will soon commence on a new international terminal at Abuja, until its completion the current international terminal will be used for both domestic and international flights. Overall, the first phase of airport re-modelling is nearing its completion, and eleven more airport terminals will be renovated during the second phase that will start later this year. Furthermore, the FAAN intends to build General Aviation Terminals for private and corporate jet owners at Enugu, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Yola.
- FirstNation Airways plans to restart operations in 2013 with ‘younger’ aircraft.
- DHL Express will base a B737-400 freighter aircraft at Lagos for domestic cargo operations.
- The remodelling of Port Harcourt Airport will be ready in two months according to FAAN.
- The World Bank handed over the newly completed perimeter fence at Abuja Airport to FAAN.
- The Nigerian Air Force ordered nine Russian helicopters for surveillance purposes. It was also announced that the NAF aims to refurbish three Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
- Bridgewater Academy is now a IATA recognised training centre.
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.
Dornier Aviation Nigeria (DANA), Kaduna, has been leasing a Do328 (5N-DOW) to Punto Azul since last year. The Equatorial Guinean airline operates domestic flights, as well as a two weekly service from Malabo to Port Harcourt. Flights are on Monday and Thursday, schedule:
- DAV302 Malabo-Port Harcourt 11:00-11:55
- DAV303 Port Harcourt-Malabo 13:00-13:55
DANA also maintains the two Do228s belonging to Sao Tomé-based carrier, Africa’s Connection. The Gabonese airline, RegionAir, that briefly served Port Harcourt from Port Gentil in 2010, is no longer flying to Nigeria.
Med-View Airline announced that it will start scheduled passenger services on Thursday, 8 November 2012. The airline will operate its two twenty-one year-old B737-400s on the Lagos-Abuja and Lagos-Port Harcourt route. Flights can be booked through Med-View’s new (and horrendously designed) website. Med-View Airline will utilise the MMA2 Terminal at Lagos Airport. This is the airline’s flight schedule:
- LOS-ABV VL2100 07:00-08:15 (Weekdays)
- ABV-LOS VL2101 09:00-10:15 (Weekdays)
- LOS-ABV VL2102 12:00-13:15 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- ABV-LOS VL2103 14:00-15:15 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- LOS-ABV VL2104 16:30-17:45 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- ABV-LOS VL2105 18:30-19:30 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- LOS-ABV VL2100 08:00-08:15 (Saturdays)
- ABV-LOS VL2102 10:00-11:15 (Saturdays)
- LOS-ABV VL2102 12:30-13:45 (Saturdays)
- ABV-LOS VL2103 14:30-15:45 (Saturdays)
- LOS-PHC VL2110 08:00-09:10 (Weekdays)
- PHC-LOS VL2111 10:00-11:10 (Weekdays)
- LOS-PHC VL2112 12:30-13:40 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- PHC-LOS VL2113 14:40-15:50 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- LOS-PHC VL2114 17:00-18:10 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- PHC-LOS VL2115 19:00-20:10 (Weekdays and Sundays)
- LOS-PHC VL2110 08:30-09:40 (Saturdays)
- PHC-LOS VL2111 10:30-11:40 (Saturdays)
- LOS-PHC VL2112 13:30-14:40 (Saturdays)
- PHC-LOS VL2113 15:30-16:40 (Saturdays)
The renovation and expansion of the airport terminals at Enugu and Port Harcourt is steadily progressing.
Ethiopian Airlines has expressed the intention to commence scheduled flights to Enugu Airport. The service would herald the beginning of international operations at the airport. The airline attempts to expand its operations in Nigeria by adding flights to Port Harcourt and Kano too:
Tewolde Gebremariam CEO of the air carrier said Ethiopian also has plans to fly to the southern central port city and oil hub of Port Harcourt as well as Northern Nigeria’s largest city Kano, while increasing the number of flight trips to Nigeria’s capital city Abuja, Nigeria. “We want more flights to Abuja because now Abuja-Addis-Asia and Abuja-Addis-Dubai-Bangkok-China is the best flight option for Nigeria bound passengers,” said Tewolde adding that Ethiopian would be pleased to add flights to the country where it has been flying for more than 40 years.
Med-View Airline, reportedly, will use two B737-400s (5N-BPA and 5N-BPB), configured with 12 business and 132 economy seats, for its planned domestic operations. The 21-year-old Boeings were formerly operated by Olympic Airways. The aircraft will be ferried from Romania to Nigeria this week. The airline intends to fly to Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt and Yola, as soon as it gets permission from the NCAA to commence commercial scheduled operations. Various flight tests will take place as part of the NCAA certification process in the coming weeks.
Currently, Med-View Airline has also wet-leased a B747-300 and a B767 for the forthcoming Haji operation.
Two other airlines – likely TopBrass Aviation and Hak Air – are also hopeful to receive their Air Operator Certificate shortly.
The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, announced that the Federal Government has approved a sum of N106 billion for the construction of eleven new airport terminals. Five new international terminals will be build at Abuja, Lagos, Enugu, Kano and Port Harcourt, while six new cargo terminals will be erected at the same airports as well as at Asaba. The new terminals are part of the second phase of the aviation road map, and follows the current remodelling process of several domestic airport terminals.
The minister said that the first phase of the remodeling and construction of 11 airports would be completed in the next 90 days, while the contract for the second phase of another 11 airports would take two years before completion. She explained that the projects were to be executed with a concessionary loan from China Nexim Bank in 22 years with 5 years moratorium at an interest rate of 2 per cent. Oduah added that mobilisation to site by the contractors was expected to commence in the next 90 days.
Meanwhile, the governor of Nasarawa State confirmed his plan to construct two new airports:
He said that the State Government would build a cargo airport in Karshi in the Karu Local Government Area of the state and an aerodrome in Lafia, the capital of the state. Al-Makura explained that the cargo airport would serve as the second runway for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.
Some pictures of the ongoing airport renovation programme can be found on the website of the FAAN: Calabar, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. They give a bit of an idea of what can be expected from the remodelling exercise. In the cases of smaller airports, it would have been a better and perhaps cheaper option to build complete new terminals and knock down the old ones altogether. All domestic operations at Lagos airport should have been moved to MMA2 until the completion of the new GA terminal, rather than continuing operations from this temporal terminal. Hopefully, the contractors will deliver a proper job, as they are being pressured to finish the work quickly.
- The NCAA has closed down Port Harcourt NAF Base for fixed-wing operations, as the airstrip requires an upgrade of its fire cover.
- The lack of runway lighting at Lagos airport (runway 18L) and other domestic airports cost the airlines N1,5billion annually.
- The Minister of Aviation has opened the rehabilitated runway at Abuja Airport. The runway lighting has been restored. The Minister also commissioned six fire tenders, which are donated to the airport by SO Aviation, a fuel provider.
- The Minister defended the financing of her airport rehabilitation programme from the BASA Fund. So far, $60 million out of the $74 million Fund has been spent by the current minister. Formally, she wouldn’t be allowed to access the fund without prior authorisation of the National Assembly. The proposed 2012 budget of the Ministry of Aviation can be found here.
- The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have pleaded with the aviation authorities to lift the ban on Dana Air. They also rejected the proposal to limit the age of aircraft in Nigeria to fifteen years.
- Dana Air has acquired another MD83 (N935JM, to be re-registered 5N-JOY), probably already before last month’s crash. The aircraft is stored at Miami.
- The Kano State Government will fund the training of a hundred youths as pilots and engineers.
- Eleven companies have entered a bid to build an airport at Dutse for the Jigawa State Government.
- 3B-NGT is a Challenger 300 operated for a Nigerian owner (probably Femi Otedola), although the aircraft is registered in Mauritius by a company named OSA Aviation. The aircraft was put up for sale in 2012.
- A background article on the Nigerian who bought Gatwick Airport.
- Arik Air will introduce a new system of shuttle flights from Lagos to Abuja and Port Harcourt on 30 July 2012. The introduction of the shuttle will make it possible for passengers to connect a flight between the two city pairs every one or two hours.
- For those interested: the Lagos Airport Forum gathers interesting papers on airport operations in Nigeria and abroad. For example, this paper on the development of air transportation in Nigeria is an interesting read.
- The chairman of Air Nigeria blames the grounding of the airline on its disloyal staff rather than on financial problems.
- In the past two years, AMCON has taken over non-performing loans worth N135 billion from Nigerian airlines, while the CBN has lent the airlines N86 billion through the Aviation Intervention Fund. Arik Air is the major beneficiary of both funds.
- British Airways considers to start flights to Port Harcourt.
- Foreign airline crews shun Abuja due to security concerns. Delta Air Lines is considering to quit flying from New York to Abuja per 1 September, because of security reasons and low traffic on the route.
- Dana Air has paid out the first compensations to families of the victims of last month’s crash.
- Members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANCLA, at Lagos Airport have gone on strike. Earlier this week, they clashed with security agents sent by FAAN to evict them from the cargo village.