- 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.
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.
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.
Two charter airlines, Med-View Airline and TopBrass Aviation, are both planning to commence scheduled domestic flights. Med-View is a Haji carrier and normally wet-leases aircraft for their operations, while TopBrass serves the oil and gas industry with two Dash 8-Q300s.
TopBrass Aviation now operates two Dash 8-Q300s (5N-TBB and 5N-TBC) for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. The two aircraft were acquired from HeliMalongo last year. The charter operator intends to add two Dash 8-Q400s to its fleet later this year.
Meanwhile, Aero has returned two of its Dash 8-Q300s and now operates only one aircraft (5N-BJO) of this type.
Here is a short video of a TopBrass Dash 8 (copyright captainbrookes2).
Some bits of news over the past week:
- United Airlines delayed the start of planned flights to Lagos, Nigeria, because of regulatory issues.
- The FAAN has completed the installation of the airfield lighting system at Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.
- Bristow has signed a $1.5m agreement with the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, for the provision of technical support.
- An Arik Air B737-700 (5N-MJE) was hit by a bird at Calabar Airport on 26 April 2010.
- Although Arik Air withdrew the A330-200 from its schedule, a spokesman of the airline assured that the aircraft will be deployed on the Lagos-Johannesburg route before the start of the World Cup.
- Aero had to ground the aircraft it leases from CHC, mainly the helicopters and Dash 8s used for the oil and gas industry, as the airline could no longer pay the bills.
- Dapo Olumide tendered his resignation as CEO of Nigerian Eagle. The COO of the airline, Kinfe Kahssaye, is appointed as his successor.
- Does anyone know which individuals or institutions are behind the new charter airline TopBrass Aviation? Its CEO, Roland Iyayi, was Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). He was arrested by the EFCC in 2008 for misuse of the N19.5 billion Aviation Intervention Fund.
While many airlines in Nigeria are suffering financial hardship, a new charter company commenced services: TopBrass Aviation. The Lagos-based airline operates a fleet of four Hawker HS-125s (a Hawker 850XP, 900XP, 1000, and 4000, all leased from the South African National Airways Corporation).