Aero Contractors (Nigeria) Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Limited, known as Aero Contractors or simply Aero, is a state-controlled Nigerian airline company based at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria. It operates helicopter services and fixed wing domestic and international scheduled passenger services, air charter and third party aircraft operations, largely in support of Nigeria's extensive oil and gas industry.
A Piper PA-23 Aztec six-seat charter aircraft of Aero Contractors in 1970, pictured at Warri Airport after a flight from Lagos Ikeja Airport.
Aero Contractors was formed in 1959 and officially registered in Nigeria in 1960. At that time, it was wholly owned by Schreiner Airways B.V. of the Netherlands.
It became a company with initially 40 per cent Nigerian holding in 1973 and subsequently 60 per cent in 1976, anticipating the requirements of the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1977, also known as the indigenization decree. In January 2004, Schreiner Airways was bought by CHC Helicopter (CHC), which acquired a 40 per cent holding in Aero, while the 60 per cent majority share remained within the Ibru family.
On July 1, 2010, CHC sold its interests in Aero for the consideration of 1 Nigerian naira, when Aero became wholly owned by the Ibru family.
In March 2013, industrial action grounded flights for 18 days, in a dispute over outsourcing and reduction in staff numbers. The strike, from March 13-18, grounded Aero's active fleet of nine aircraft, and was reported to have cost the airline at least N 10bn in ticket sales.
After financial intervention, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), an arm of the Federal Government of Nigeria, held 60 per cent of Aero, and in August 2013 it was reported that AMCON had taken over the management of the carrier with Hugh Fraser named as new CEO.
In August 2013 there was press speculation that the Federal Government will use Aero Contractors as the nucleus of a new national carrier, recapitalizing it through a N200 billion initial public offering (IPO). The new airline was allegedly to be known as 'Nigerian Eagle', several years after the liquidation of the defunct flag carrier Nigeria Airways, and that the airline would commence full operations before the end of the year (2013). The factual basis for this report was the repainting of an Aero plane in the colours of the Nigeria national football team, the Super Eagles. The Ministry of Air Transport, however, clarified the repainting of the aircraft was only publicity related to the qualification of the National team for the 2014 World Cup.
In 2016, Aero Contractors became the first official airline casualty of Nigeria's worsening economic crisis after it announced it would suspend all scheduled operations with effect from 1 September 2016. However, since December 2016 the airline has gradually returned to full operations, operating 6,717 flights in 2019.
Aero was wholly owned by the Ibru family. Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) now owns 60 per cent of the shares, with the remainder owned by Ibru family interests.
Structure and partnerships.
Aero has two divisions: Aero Nigeria - provides scheduled passenger services in Nigeria and western Africa. Rotary Wing - provides helicopter services for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
Aero still has a technical partnership with CHC regarding its rotary wing division.
Aero Contractors Aerospatiale SA-365N Dauphin 2, in 2005 A de Havilland Canada Dash 8 of Aero Contractors in 2006, pictured at Faro Airport, Portugal and Aero Contractors Boeing 737-300 (now retired).
Aero Contractors was an active airline until 2016, when the recession in Nigeria forced a brief closure of operations. Activity has slowly increased since then.
Number of aircraft - fixed wing (at year end) 17 1 6 7
Number of aircraft - helicopter (at year end) 1 5
Aero serves the following destinations: Nigeria Abuja - NnamdiAzikiwe International Airport
Asaba - Asaba International Airport
Benin City - Benin Airport
Calabar - Margaret Ekpo International Airport
Kaduna - Kaduna Airport
Kano - Aminu Kano Airport
Enugu - Akanu Ibiam International Airport
Lagos - Murtala Mohammed International Airport Hub
Owerri - Imo Airport
Port Harcourt - Port Harcourt International Airport
Uyo - Victor Attah International Airport
Sokoto - Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport
The Aero Contractors fleet consists of the following aircraft as of August 2019:
Aero Contractors fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
Boeing 737-400 1 - 144
Boeing 737-500 2 - 116
De Havilland Dash 8-Q200 1 - 36
De Havilland Dash 8-Q300 1 - 50
De Havilland Dash 8-Q400 2 2 78
Total 7 2
The airline fixed wing fleet previously included the following aircraft:
6 Boeing 737-300 (2003-2009)
6 further Boeing 737-400
4 further Boeing 737-500
1 De Havilland Dash 8-Q100 (1995-2009)
10 further De Havilland Dash 8-Q300 (1997-2012)
Dana Air is a Nigerian airline headquartered in Ikeja and based out of Lagos 's Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
As of February 2017, Dana Air serves the following destinations:
Abuja - Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport
Lagos - Murtala Muhammed International Airport base
Owerri - Sam Mbakwe Airport
Port Harcourt - Port Harcourt International Airport
Uyo - Akwa Ibom Airport
Dana Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83. This was the aircraft involved in
As of August 2019,the Dana Air fleet consists of the following aircraft:
Dana Air fleet
Aircraft In fleet Orders Notes
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 2 -
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 2 -
Boeing 737-300 2 1
Total 6 1
On June 3, 2012, a Dana Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83 operating as Flight 992 crashed into a two-storey building at Iju Railway, Ishaga, a suburb of Lagos. All 153 people on the aircraft were killed. Following the crash, all flights by Dana Air were halted by Nigeria's Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) until further notice.
On February 7, 2018, a Dana Air flight landed in Abuja and was taxiing on the runway when one of the emergency exit doors fell off. No casualties resulted from the incident. Passengers claimed that the door rattled throughout the flight. A spokesperson for the airline, however claimed that the door could not have fallen off without a conscious effort by a passenger. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority instituted an investigation into the incident to determine what exactly happened.
On February 20 2018, a Dana Air MD-83 with registration 5N-SRI veered off the runway at Port-Harcourt international airport during a night landing. There were no casualties, but the aircraft suffered significant damage. Both the airline and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria stated that the cause of the accident was inclement weather as there was torrential rain at the time of the landing.
Arik Air is a Nigerian airline operating mainly from two hubs at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. Arik Air's head office is the Arik Air Aviation Center on the grounds of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja. Arik Air serves a network of regional and mid-haul destinations within Africa.
On April 3, 2006, Arik Air took over the former Nigeria Airways facilities in Lagos, some three years after its liquidation, and began reconstruction work. On June 14, 2006, Arik took delivery of two new Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft to fly domestic routes throughout Nigeria and, within the African continent from Summer 2006, 2 ex- United Airlines Boeing 737-300s and 3 50 seat Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft.
In August 2006, the Federal Ministry of Aviation granted Arik Air authorisation to fly to Trinidad and Tobago and Amsterdam, London and Madrid in Europe. Furthermore, the airline then planned to fly to Atlanta, Miami, and Houston in the United States and Birmingham in the United Kingdom. On October 30, 2006, Arik Air began scheduled passenger flights with four flights between Lagos and Abuja using CRJ 900 aircraft. Flight operations began in Calabar on November 15, 2006 and services to Benin City and Enugu started on January 7, 2007. The airline was wholly owned by Ojemai Investments.
On April 4, 2008, Arik Air was given permission to fly to the United States by the US Department of Transportation. Arik Air started international operations to London-Heathrow on December 15, 2008, using an Airbus A340-500 aircraft wet-leased from Hi Fly. It added Johannesburg on June 1, 2009, New York JFK on November 30, 2009, and Dubai on July 28, 2014.
Subsidiary airline Arik Niger (IATA code: Q9) commenced operations in April 2009, but was shut down in February 2010.
Arik Air transported its 5 millionth passenger on 6 August 2010 and it transported its 10 millionth passenger on September 18, 2012, both on flights between Johannesburg and Lagos. On 20 September 2012, the airline cancelled all its domestic operations after aviation officials raided the airline's office in Lagos, Nigeria. Flights resumed on 23 September. Arik Air had placed an order for five Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which was cancelled in 2011. Arik Air then placed an order for two
Boeing 747-8 I aircraft 2013. However, in early 2017, Arik Air converted the 747-8I orders to two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners instead. Arik Air had been the last remaining airline customer for the passenger 747-8 (who had not yet received any examples). The conversion of the 747-8 order to Dreamliners came shortly after the airline, owing to major financial stress and most aircraft not being operational, was taken over by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) at the start of 2017, deeming the airline as too big to fail.
Since the takeover, all flights leaving Africa, along with flights to O.R. Tambo International Airport, have been gradually suspended.
Simultaneously, KPMG was appointed by AMCON to conduct a forensic audit on Arik Air's books. Since then, AMCON is gradually in the process of reviving and stabilising the airline and its operations.