- 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.
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 quiet week:
- The Abuja Gateway Consortium filed a suit against the Federal Government. The consortium won a bid in 2006 to develop Abuja Airport, but the contract was annulled and is now awarded to Chinese investors.
- Kebbi State has approved a sum of N13.6 billion to upgrade the state-owned airstrip at Ambursa to the status of international airport. The expansion of the runway and construction of a new terminal will be done by CGC and should be ready in March 2013.
- A Qatar Airways A330 coming from Doha made an emergency landing at Lagos Airport on 29 September, after discovering a minor landing gear problem.
- Hawker Beechcraft sold 26 aircraft in Nigeria between 2007 and 2011 (11 percent of their African market).
- The Nigerian Navy acquired a Bell 206 Jet Ranger (NN 10) for training purposes.
- CHC is planning to re-enter the Nigerian market. It will operate AW139/S76 helicopters in partnership with Jagal.
- SkyBird Air is not only operating three Do328Jets but also a Gulfstream GIV (probably 5N-BOD; ex-5N-FGP).
- Dana Air has begun test flights ahead of their resumption of commercial services. It seems the airline will retain its corporate identity.
- FirstNation Airways appears to have resumed flights between Lagos and Abuja with one A320, although flights cannot be booked through their website. Associated Aviation also continues to operate scheduled flights to Akure and Benin. This article analysing the decrease of capacity and increase of air fares over the past months, however, claims that both airlines are currently not operating any flights.
- The Federal Government has replaced the top management of various aviation agencies.
- Overall, the volume of air cargo traffic in Nigeria grew in 2011, but designated cargo airports such as Ilorin and Owerri didn’t record a single cargo flight last year.
- A new issue of Arik Wings is available online.
After years of refurbishment, SkyBird Air finally accepted its first aircraft last week. One Do 328Jet was ferried from Germany to Lagos last week, a second will follow this week (5N-BMH), and a third later this month. One aircraft is configured in a twelve passenger VIP-layout, while the other two are passenger airlines with 32 seats. The three Dorniers were in the past operated by Shell in Nigeria (as 5N-SPE, -SPM and -SPN). SkyBird Air is a new charter operator based at Lagos Airport, and allegedly owned by a former Borno State governor, Ali Modu Sheriff.
- Aero finally took delivery of its fourth B737-400 (5N-BOB).
- Earlier, it was reported that Aero acquired four B737-400s from Garuda, but these aircraft now seem to be destined for a company called Hak Air. Is Capt. Adekunle Kuti reviving his old charter airline Hak Air? Or is he setting up a national carrier for Niger Republic?
- Arik Air will soon receive an ex-Kingfisher Airlines A330-200 (EI-EWH; 5N-)
- One of DANA’s Dornier 328s (5N-DOW) was flown to Bournemouth, likely for maintenance or sale.
- It seems that SkyBird Air will finally accept its first Do 328Jet on 14 August 2012.
- An interesting interview with Akin Oni, Managing Director at Bristow Helicopters, about the Nigerian Content Act, training of aviation personnel, import duties on aircraft, and other challenges in the aviation industry.
We are talking about a maintenance hangar for Nigeria, has anyone asked where we would get the engineers from? We are struggling today looking for Nigerian engineers. We don’t have engineers.
- The Minister of Aviation launched her Nigeria Aerotropolis-programme aiming at a transformation of the Nigerian aviation industry. See for more information: www.nigeriaaerotropolis.com.
- How far is the FG’s plan for a new national carrier – Nigeria Airlines – developed?
- According to the Wall Street Journal, Air Nigeria hopes to restart its operations by obtaining loans to finance the eight Embraer jets the airline still has on order. The Federal Government might be willing to help the airline, but wants a merger between Arik Air and Air Nigeria.
Nigeria’s government may offer the company another “substantial” low-interest rate loan, said aviation ministry spokesman Joe Obi. But it is also pushing Air Nigeria and Arik Air to merge — a prospect neither airline has embraced. “We are talking to them, but you know it’s like a marriage, and you cannot force a marriage,” said Mr. Obi. “It’s an ego thing. Somebody wants to say, I own this airline… That is the major problem.”
- An interesting analysis of the aviation markets in Nigeria and Ghana. This is also a good commentary on the state of Nigerian aviation.
- The Nigerian Senate has ordered Lufthansa to pay N2.19 billion, being the amount of royalty accrued to the Federal Government from its flight operations from 2009 to October 2011.
- The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has called for an investigation by the EFCC into FAAN’s financial management.
- The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) may request assistance from the EFCC to recover about N22 billion in debts, owed by past and present domestic airlines.
- Harold Demuren has been reappointed as Director General of the NCAA.
- There were bomb scares at Lagos and Abuja Airports this week.
- Lagos State Government has commenced work on the development on the Lekki-Epe International Airport.
- Bayelsa State inaugurated an Airport Development Committee to speed up the construction of an airport in the state.
- The governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai, allegedly acquired a helicopter for himself. The governor already owns two light aircraft and plans to a construct an airstrip near his home village. Meanwhile, the Taraba State Government will soon launch a commercial airline, Air Taraba will have Jalingo Airport as its home base.
- SkyBird Air – a Dornier 328Jet operator – is still awaiting its AOC to commence operations. The airline is apparently owned by a former governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, of Borno State.
- A Dana Air aircraft (5N-SRI) coming from Uyo made an emergency landing at Lagos Airport on 10 May 2012, following a ‘loss of hydraulic pressure’.
- The Air Expo organised by the Nigerian Air Force to mark its 48th anniversary will start next week, 15 May 2012, at Kaduna Air Force Base.
- The Nigerian Navy plans to establish a Naval Aviation Training School in Ilorin Airport, Kwara State.
- Arik Air will suspend its Abuja-London service again per 25 March. Apparently the slot issue at London Heathrow has not been resolved.
- Arik Air has ferried one of its CRJ900 aircraft (5N-JEC) to Arkansas for maintenance recently.
- SkyBird Air will soon take delivery of its first Dornier 328Jet (5N-BMH).
- DANA will also accept a new Dornier 328 aircraft (5N-DOW / ex-D-CASI) soon, after selling some of its aircraft last year.
- Air Taraba’s EMB145 has received its livery (without titles yet) at Bournemouth; the aircraft will be registered 5N-BOZ.
- A police helicopter (a Bell 427 that joined the fleet last year; 5N-POL) crashed near Jos on 14 March. The Airwing of the Nigerian Police also acquired a Cessna Citation XLS (5N-HAR) new last year.
- Shell has given Caverton Helicopters a loan of $85 million to upgrade its fleet with six AW139s. Caverton will from next month expand its operations to Cameroon, signing a five-year contract with the Cameroon Oil Transportation Company.
- Air France will resume flights from Lagos to Abuja from June 2012. It will be the airline’s third destination in Nigeria.
- Enugu Airport will be closed for traffic for three weeks from 18 March (now postponed to April), to enable the installation of runway lighting.
- Bauchi Airport has re-opened after a year of renovation works.
- Kano State Government has appealed to KLM to shelve plans to suspend operations at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport.
- FirstNation Airways have commenced a daily Abuja-Port Harcourt service from 14 March.
- Allied Air Cargo continues to lease two MD11Fs from World Airways along its own four B727Fs.
- Associated Aviation still operates an ERJ-145 (5N-BJM) leased from the Bauchi State government.
- MaxAir has acquired a Embraer Legacy 600 (M-ANGA) for its charter operations. The airline also operates a Learjet 45 (5N-LDM).
This is the last update to be posted on this blog.
- Arik Air lost the impounded A330-200 (5N-EIA) for good. The owner, Amentum Capital, is offering the aircraft for lease again.
- Arik Air formally withdrew the B737-300s (5N-MJA/MJB) from its fleet. One of the B737-700s (5N-MJF) is also taped up and stored at Norwich. A Dash 8-Q400 is currently at Maastricht for maintenance.
- This is the design for the proposed Arik Air Aviation Centre, Lagos. It is unlikely that the terminal/hangar will be built soon, as Arik Air is in financial dire straits and because of the ongoing struggle over the ownership of the GA Terminal at Lagos Airport. Click here for more information and images on the Neumann website.
- Arik Air got approval from the US authorities to start services to Houston. The airline announced an non-stop Houston-Lagos route on its Facebook page. The new routing of its US flight will probably become LOS-JFK-IAH-LOS.
- Air Nigeria will lease a seventeen year old B737-400 from ILFC. The aircraft (5N-VNM), still stored at Istanbul, has slightly smaller titles than the other Air Nigeria aircraft. One of Air Nigeria’s B733s (5N-VNC) has been stored at Shannon for months.
- FirstNation Airways took delivery of three A320s (5N-FNA/5N-FNB/5N-FNC), which are now stored at Lagos Airport. The successor of Bellview Airlines aims to start scheduled services this month between Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. However, the airline might be forced to delay the start of its operations, because it still has to obtain an AOC and its aircraft may be grounded for outstanding debts from Bellview Airlines era.
- This is the first picture of the G550 (5N-FGW) that will soon join the Presidential Air Fleet of the NAF. A second Dassault Falcon 7X (5N-FGV) will follow later this year.
- One of DANA’s Do328s (5N-IEP) was spotted in Bournemouth with an all-white livery.
- This is an election promise made by the governor of Imo State: a new Owerri Airport. The State Government financed the failed Air Midwest project in the past.
- Hangar8, a UK charter company, opened a fixed-base operation (FBO) in Lagos and Abuja.
- The NCAA has inspected all classic B737s in Nigeria. Initially, the B737-300 freighter (5N-BMA) of Axiom Air, operated on Skypower Express’ AOC, was grounded.
- An untitled Nigerian registered B727 freighter (5N-BNQ) was spotted in Poland, probably to pick up election material. The aircraft, registered 5N-BNQ, is owned by Millennium Travel & Tours Ltd, but was operated under Associated Aviation flight code.
- A Hawker 800XP was registered 5N-BNM in Lanseria and is operated by SkyJet Aviation (Barbedos Group).
- Chanchangi Airlines announced that its B737-300s (5N-BMB/BMC) are undergoing heavy maintenance in Belgrade and Johannesburg and may return into service soon. The airline now operates two B733s wet-leased from Jordan Aviation.
- The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority officially commissioned the new Flight Tracking Operations Command Centre in Lagos last month.
- The Federal Government plans to build a new domestic terminal at Abuja.
- IRS Airlines hopes to add more F100s to its fleet this year.
- SkyBird Air took delivery of its first Dornier 328DBJ in February 2011.
- One of the NAF G222s carrying election material made a hard landing at Abuja Airport on Friday, 8 April 2011. Meanwhile, a Mi35 helicopter also deployed for the election made an emergency landing in Bayelsa State.
- The Nigerian Air Force inaugurated two Augusta A109 helicopters at the 305 Flying Training School in Enugu. The helicopters are meant for the training of military and civilian pilots.
- The Nigerian Air Force announced it will organise an Air Expo in 2012.
During the Middle East business air show, MEBA, in Dubai, 328 Support Services of Germany will present its latest Dornier 328JET VIP conversion, the new 328DBJ. Three of these Dorniers are destined for a Nigerian charter operator called SkyBird Air, which recently applied for an AOC.
Update: 328 Support Services GmbH has handed over the first of three Dornier 328 jet conversions to Nigerian airline SkyBird Air. The airline, which is the first African customer for 328SSG, accepted the converted 32-seat passenger airliner at the end of February. The conversion and maintenance order, which is worth 14 million Euros in total, will see one airliner conversion and a further two 328DBJ TM s VIP aircraft added to their fleet this year. The newly converted airliner is due to be delivered to Nigeria for the airline’s inaugural operations in May, whilst the VIP models will follow in late summer 2011.