Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) first quarter report on aviation sector has labelled, Arik Air as leading the pack in the number of airlines that canceled flight operations on the international routes in the first quarter of 2017 with 68.5 per cent. The report did not however state that Arik was seriously challenged during the period under review, which eventually led to its takeover by the Federal Government using the vehicle of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in February 2017.
The report, covered operational activities of airlines (local and foreign) that operated in the country between January and March 2017. It stated that total flights operated by international airlines into Nigeria stood at 3,033 with a total of 1220 delayed flights, representing 40.2 per cent of total operations.
Within the period, the report added, a total number of 54 flights were canceled by the 30 airlines on the international routes, which indicated 1.7 percent of their total operations within the period under review. Out of the 54 canceled flights, Arik Air had 37, which represented 68.5 per cent of canceled flights within the period in review.
The NCAA report indicated that Asky Airlines had two cancelled flights within the same period, British Airways; one, Cronos Air; one, Delta Air Lines; three, Ethiopian Airline; one, Kenya Airways; one, Lufthansa; one, Med-View Airways; three, South African Airways; two and Virgin Atlantic Airways had two cancelled flights within the period under review.
Airlines like Aero Contractors (also taken over by AMCON), which operate regional flights, African World, Air Cote D’Ivoire. Air France, Air Peace, Camair-Co, Dana Air, Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Meridiana, Middle East, Qatar, Royal Air Marco, Rwandair, Saudi Air, Sudan Airlines and Turkish Airlines had no canceled flights within the period. Besides, Arik Air also led in the number of delayed flights in the first quarter of the year with 244 out of 295 flights operated within the period. Others with delayed flights include African World, 93 out of 282 flights, Air Cote D’Ivoire, 22 out of 106, Air France had 42 out of 179 flights, Air Peace, seven out of 36 flights, Asky with 57 out of 244 flights and British Airways with 57 out of 152 flights operated out of Nigerian in three months.
Others are Cronos Air, 26 delayed flights of 38 flight operations, Delta Air Lines had 17 delayed flights out of 49, Egypt Air with 83 out of 167, Emirates 34 out of 87, Ethiopian Air, 81 delayed flights out of 216, Etihad had 17 delayed flights out of 50 flights it operated within the period. Other airlines are Kenya Airways with 35 delayed flights out of 95, KLM had 15 out of 87, Lufthansa 84 out of 179, Meridiana 10 out of 13, Med-View 50 out of 71 flights, Middle East had four delayed out of 24 flights, Qatar Airways 15 delays out of 87 flights, Royal Air Maroc five delays out of 71 flights, Rwandair with 22 delays out of 71 flights, Saudi Air 27 out of 37 flights, Sudan Air had nine delays out of 10 flights, South African Airways with 36 delays out of 114 flights, Turkish Air had 88 delays out of 133 flights and Virgin Atlantic with 31 delayed flights out of 76 flight operations in three months.
In all, there were 1220 flight delays among all the carriers in Nigeria in the first quarter of the year. On the local scene, No fewer than 10,366 flights were operated by eight indigenous airline operators between January and March 2017. The statistics from NCAA further indicated that out of these numbers, the local airlines had 6,789 delayed flights, which represented 65.4 per cent of the total flights operated within the period.
The domestic airlines also canceled 318 flights in the first three months, which represented 3 per cent of the total flights operated in the period. The statistics further indicated that the 10,366 flights were operated by Arik Air, Air Peace, Med-View, First Nation, Overland, Azman, Dana and Aero Contractors. The breakdown of flights operated within the period revealed that Aero Contractor had 806 flights; Arik Air, 1665; Azman Air, 1196; Dana Air, 1525; Med-View, 1071; Overland, 511; First Nation, 330 and Air Peace had 3262 in the first quarter of the year.
Regarding the number of delayed flights, Aero Contractor had 610 out of 806 flights operated between January and March 2017. Others are Arik Air with 1059 of delayed flights, Azman; 826, Dana Air; 1017, Med-View; 752, Overland; 384, First Nation; 105 and Air Peace, 2036, totaling 6789 delayed flights within the period. Out of the eight domestic airlines, only Overland did not cancel any flights within the period, but seven others canceled a total number of 318 flights. The breakdown is Aero Contractor, seven flights, Arik Air; 246, Azman Air, 17; Dana Air; five, Med-View; 22, First Nation; two and Air Peace with 19 flights within the period.
Air return within the first quarter indicated that Arik Air led the pack with seven, Azman Air had one, First Nation had two while Air Peace had three air returns. Aero Contractors, Dana Air, Med-View and Overland didn’t have any air return within the period. According to the statistics, only First Nation Airways had an incident of overbooking/denied boarding and recorded two incidents of such while seven others had no record such record in the first quarter of the year.
Besides, two pilfering incidents were also reported to NCAA within the period. The pilfering occurred on First Nation Airways while missing luggage incidents were four in the period.
The four incidents were Arik Air, one; Dana Air, one and Air Peace had two missing luggage within the period. The statistics further revealed that there were 735,825 inbound passengers in the first quarter while 778, 791 were outbound passengers within the period. The breakdown of inbound passengers indicated that Aero Contractors airlifted 43,565, Arik Air, 60,772; Azman, 82,508, Dana; 124,717, Med-View; 93,385, Overland; 15,478, First Nation; 25,787 and Air Peace had 289,613 airlifted inbound passengers within the period.
Nigerian airlines airlifted 778,791 outbound passengers within the period. The breakdown indicated that Aero Contractors airlifted 24,472 outbound passengers within the period, Arik Air; 46,499, Azman; 57,606, Dana Air; 102,417, Med-View; 64,006, Overland; 14,463, First Nation; 22,702 and Air Peace had 233,517 outbound passengers within the period.