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.
Aero has resumed flight operations from Lagos to Warri (twice daily) and from Lagos to Port Harcourt NAF Base (thrice weekly) as well as between Warri and Port Harcourt NAF Base (daily). Click here for the airline’s full schedule, all flights are operated with a Dash 8-Q300. Aero is the only airline to serve Port Harcourt NAF Base at the moment.
Aero has recently suspended its Abuja-Enugu service, but still flies from the capital to Owerri, Port Harcourt and Uyo.
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.
- 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.
Aero announced that it plans to expand its aircraft maintenance services. The airline intends to provide A-, B- and C-checks on Boeing aircraft in western Africa. However, according to the airline, the financial benefits of having these checks in Nigeria are limited:
Nigeria has relatively high import duties on aircraft parts. Airlines typically fly their aircraft to, say, Turkey to have them serviced and relevant parts replaced. Once that aircraft flies back to Nigeria, the new parts are not subject to import duties as they are already installed on the plane. This puts any Nigerian maintenance provider in a big disadvantage against foreign players. A Nigerian maintenance provider would need to import all spares used in maintenance and thus incur the import duties that those maintaining their aircraft abroad avoid completely.
Aero also disclosed that from next month it will start to renew its fleet with B737-400s, B737-700s and Dash 8-Q400s.
The airline has temporarily suspended its service from Lagos to Warri and Port Harcourt NAF Base
Per 1 February 2011, Arik Air will commence af five weekly (Monday-Friday) service between Port Harcourt NAF Base (Garden City Terminal) and Warri Airport (Osubi Airstrip). Flights will be operated with Dash 8-Q400 aircraft.
- W34011 PHG-QRW 09:20-10:20
- W34008 QRW-PHG 15:05-15:50
On the occasion of Arik Air’s fourth year anniversary, the following announcements were made:
- The airline has up to date carried 5.8million passengers and has over 40 per cent of the traffic share in Nigeria.
- The airline has invested over $6.1 billion in acquisitions and orders in the past four years.
- The airline is awaiting approval from the Federal Government to develop the GAT terminal that will be owned by government and operated by FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria).
- The airline promoted Chris Ndulue from acting Managing Director to MD.
- The airline will provide charter services for Christian pilgrims to Israel.
The following routes will be introduced/cancelled this month:
- Re-introduction of Garden City Express (daily Lagos-Port Harcourt NAF Base-Abuja flights) per 1 November.
- Re-Introduction of daily Lagos-Uyo-Abuja flights per 15 November.
- Akure and Ilorin are dropped as destinations.
- Arik Air intends to start a three weekly service between Port Harcourt NAF Base and Benin (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays) later this month.
- Upcoming are also new regional routes to Abidjan, Bamako and Ouagadougou.
Aero announced it will increase its frequencies from Lagos to Abuja and Port Harcourt to eight and five daily flights respectively, effective October 1, 2010.
From the 17th of October, Aero’s flights from Lagos to Warri (Osubi Airstrip) and Port Harcourt NAF Base will no longer depart from the MMA2 domestic terminal, but will be operated from Aero’s private terminal at Lagos Airport.
The launch of international services to Libreville has been put on hold.
Some bits of news over the past week:
- Arik Air will operate a B737-800 on the Lagos-London route till 25 May 2010, due to maintenance on the A345.
- After the rift with the Akwa Ibom State Government, Arik Air now angered the River State Government, after the airline published a negative report about security in Port Harcourt in its in-house magazine The Winds, calling it an unsafe destination. Arik Air terminated its flights to Port Harcourt NAF Base earlier this year, but still flies to Port Harcourt International Airport.
- The Minister of Aviation organised a meeting between Aero and Oceanic Bank to find an amicable solution for the debt issue. In the meantime, Aero is operating all its (helicopter) flights according to schedule again.
- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) reached an agreement with the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) about the payment of debts by the airlines to the agency. Arik Air reportedly paid N50 million as part of a payment plan.
- Virgin Nigeria (briefly known as Nigerian Eagle Airlines) issued a statement, but no further comments were made on the announced name change of the airline.
- VistaJet is expanding in Nigeria. It already has two aircraft based in Lagos and concluded a three-year agreement with Nigerian businessman Kola Aluko.
- The Nigerian Air Force will build a new aircraft maintenance hangar at Ilorin Airport.
- Keep an eye on the website of the NAF for updates on the Air Expo that will be held next week at Kaduna.
- The Senate Committee on Aviation has called for a review of the N64 billion ($426 million) contract for a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The price is ‘far too high, way too expensive and outrageous’, according to the lawmakers.
Arik Air no longer flies to Port Harcourt NAF Base (or the Garden City Terminal als they call it). All Arik’s flights to Lagos and Abuja are now operated from Port Harcourt International Airport. Arik Air dropped eight destinations in less than a month time, although the routes are only on ‘temporary suspension’ according to the airline.
Aero still operates flights from Port Harcourt NAF Base to Lagos and Warri.