One year after the proponent of Nigeria Eagle Airlines, AMCON, failed to secure Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nairametrics can report that some of the airline’s aircraft engines have been ‘cannibalised’.
An investigation by our correspondent revealed that the three Boeing 737 aircraft, which the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) intended to use for the airline, are still parked at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
The issuance of the AOC to the airline would have enabled Nigeria Eagle to commence service as a scheduled operator.
Our findings: Nairametrics gathered that AMCON acquired some new engines for the aircraft in readiness for the NCAA certification.
However, the NCAA’s unwillingness to issue the AOC may have led to AMCON returning some of the engines to the buyers with the remaining ones leased out.
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In the meantime, the airline’s aircraft are ‘wasting’ away at the airport. The source who spoke to Nairametrics said:
- “I can tell you that about three of the aircraft’s engines have been cannibalised by AMCON. Some of the engines were bought in a last-minute effort for certification by the NCAA and since the authority suspended the certification, they had to return the engines and leased the others.
- “I think it is cost-effective to do so when they waited and could not get the certification within one year.”
Nairametrics gathered that the NCAA was set to issue the airline an AOC in September 2021, which would have enabled it to operate as a passenger, cargo, scheduled and charter flight operator. The certificate with the number, NGE/AOC/08- 21/001, was to expire on September 20, 2023. However, the licence was delayed following opposition from the National Assembly and some aviation unions.
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What’s an AOC? The Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) is a certificate authorising an operator to carry out specified commercial air transport operations and it is usually issued by the Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs). AOCs are issued to airlines in Nigeria by the NCAA.
The certification is only valid for two years and subsequently renewed once the applicant (operator) fulfils all the requirements.
Though the certificate sighted by our correspondent was yet to be signed by the Director-General of NCAA, a source explained that the DG’s signature was imminent before higher authorities prevailed. Part of the certificate said:
- “This certificate certifies that NG Eagle Limited is authorised to perform commercial air operations, as defined in the attached operations specifications, in accordance with the operations manual and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations Part 9.”
Airline incurs losses: Recently, AMCON disclosed that Nigeria Eagle lost about $53.4 million (about N22.214 billion at the official rate of N416 to a dollar) in six months due to the non-issuance of AOC by NCAA.
- A document made available to our correspondent by an industry source, listed salaries, insurance, engine lease/shipment, procurement, contracted services, IT, logistics, rent, repair/renovation (offices), preservation maintenance, contracted engineering personnel, heavy maintenance and revenue as some of the line item categories the airline had suffered losses on since September 2021 till March 2022.
- The document showed that on salaries to 100 personnel, including pilots and engineers, the airline incurred a loss of $1,664,545.26; insurance for three aircraft, $934,611.55; engine lease/shipment, $757,964.57, and procurement, $525,386.82.
- Others are contracted services, $298,605.78; IT, $121,829.95; logistics, $113,699.37; rent, 25,588.08; repair/renovation, $16,583.41; preservation maintenance, $36,000; over 20 contracted engineering personnel, $757,620; heavy maintenance, $2,400,000, and revenue losses at $45,750,000.
The backstory: In anticipation of the AOC, AMCON had positioned the Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, the pioneer Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NG Eagle by appointing as the helmsman for the airline. But, after AMCON failed to secure the AOC, Sanusi returned to his former position at Aero Contractors about two weeks ago.
Note that Aero Contractors is one of the two airlines under its receivership. The second one is Arik Air.
Originally Posted By Nairametrics