Posted by News Express | 11 November 2018 | 1,538 times
Nigeria’s commercial airlines have the oldest aircraft fleet in Africa, with the age of an aircraft in one of the airlines, being 28.1 years, the age many planes are either due for retirement or decommissioning or may have been retired at least some years earlier.
In sharp contrast, major African airlines, such as Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, Africa’s oldest, Rwandair, Royal Air Maroc and Kenya Airways have fleets with average age of between 11.4 years and 5.8 years. Rwandair, founded in 2002 and the youngest of the African airlines, has fleet average age of 7.1 years.
A random check of the fleet of Nigeria’s airlines, shows that Arik Air has the youngest fleet of 23 aircraft, with average age of 11 years. Dana Airlines, which started operations in November 2008 has the oldest fleet of a range of McDonnell Douglas MD-80, with one of them, still in use, 28 years and one month old.
According to data provided by planespotters.net, Dana Airlines aircraft are the grand daddies of planes plying the Nigerian skies. At present, it operates six aircraft, all MD-80s, with the youngest delivered October 2014 and registered as 5N-BKI. It is now 22.3 years old. Another plane in the fleet, 5N-SAI is 28.1 years old.
Air Peace, with a fleet strength of 20 aircraft averages 19 years. It has 13 Boeing 737, with average age of 22.3 years and 2 Boeing 777, with average age of 18.1 years. However, two of the Boeing 737-500 in its collection are between 25 and 26 years old. One of them was acquired in July 2014 and another December 2014. However, Air Peace, boasts of four Embraer ERJ-145, being run by its subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper, with an average age of 19 years.
Medview, which was founded in 2007 has five planes, all Boeing models. They included a Boeing 777-200(5N-BVY), which is 16.7 years old, Boeing 767, 23.6 years old and three Boeing 737-400, with an average age of 20.9 years.
Azman Air Services, which took off in 2010 has four aircraft in operation, which notch an average age of 20.9 years. The airline has two Boeing 737-300 and two Boeing 737-500, averaging 20.9 years.
Max Air, which entered the Nigerian aviation business just this year, has six aircraft, with average age of 20.4 years. Apart from an Embraer ERJ-145, which is less than 10 years old, all the other aircraft in its fleet are 20 years and above.
Aero Contractors, Nigeria’s oldest airline with a peerless safety record, has 11 aircraft in operation. Among them are nine Boeing 737, with an average age of 26.5 years and two De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 planes, aged 17.8 years. The airline, which was founded in 1959, is now being run by AMCON, along with Arik Air, following huge indebtedness to the banks.
Arik Air entered Nigeria’s turbulent aviation business in October 2006 with a grand ambition to operate with new aircraft, instead of the creaky ‘Tokunbo’ aircraft being used then and now by airlines in the country. So it ordered new planes, with the oldest in its fleet today being four Bombardier CRJ-900 planes delivered in 2006 as new. They are now 12.6 years old. Arik also has one Bombardier CRJ-1000 bought new in 2014. It is now five years old. It has 13 Boeing 737, with average age of 12.1 years and an Airbus A340, which is 10.4 years old.(NAN)
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