Reports that Arik airline is planning on shutting down soon, continue to spread in the news media. This is as a result of the suspension of flight operations to all airports across the country due to its inability to secure aviation fuel, also known as JET-A1.
This is not however the first time an airline has shut down in Nigeria owing to various reasons. Here are the airlines that the Nigeria has lost so far:
1. Chachangi Airlines
Chanchangi Airlines Nigeria limited was a privately owned and operated airline with its head office in the Chanchangi Office Complex in Kaduna, Nigeria. It operated scheduled domestic passenger services, with its main base at Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
The airline which was established on January 5, 1994 by Alhaji Chanchangi started flight operations to and from Kaduna, Lagos, Owerri, Abuja and Port Harcourt on 2 May 1997.
Chanchangi Airlines, failed to appear in court on April 1, 2012, to defend itself against charges filed against it by Ethiopian Airlines failing to settle a 14 million Br bill for maintenance services. It subsequently suspended all flights in 2012.
2. Bellview Airlines
Bellview Airlines was an airline with it headquarters at Bellview Plaza in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria. Founded in 1992 and it had 308 employees, while it operated scheduled passenger flights within Africa as well as to London out of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
In 2005, the airline suffered two incidents that were key to its eventual demise:
On October 22, 2005, Bellview Airlines Flight 210, a Boeing 737-200 aircraft with 117 people on board, crashed shortly after taking off from Murtala Mohammed International Airport en route to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, killing all 117 people on board. Bellview grounded all flights on the next day, but resumed operation again on October 24.
Also, on December 19, 2005, a Boeing 737 operating a Bellview Airlines flight between Lagos and Freetown made an emergency landing at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana due to hydraulical problems. On the following day, Nigerian authorities ordered all Bellview flights to be grounded and suspended the airline’s license until December 22.
Operations slowed significantly after that and the airline eventually shut down in 2009.
3. Nigeria Airways
The airline which has been known by several names from Nigerian airways, Nigerian Eagle, Air Nigeria and Virgin Nigeria. It was founded in 1958 after the dissolution of West African Airways Corporation.
The Nigerian airways was owned by Nigerian government, and served as the country’s flag carrier until it ceased operations in 2003.
Part of the problems that led to its closure included: mismanagement, corruption, and overstaffing, at the time of closure the airline, it had debts of more than US$60,000,000 (equivalent to $77,181,621 in 2015) and a poor safety record.
4. Sosoliso Airlines
Sosoliso Airlines was a scheduled, domestic, passenger airline. For much of its existence it had its head office in Ikeja, Lagos State. Originally its head office was on the grounds of Enugu Airport in Enugu.
It was established in 1994 and started operations in July 2000. On December 10, 2005, Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 from Abuja to Port Harcourt crashed on landing with 110 people on board. Only 2 persons survived.
Pastor Bimbo Odukoya and over 50 students of Loyola Jesuit College, an Abuja-based secondary school, were among the dead.
It is reported that a witness states that the plane was struck by lightning about 40 or 50 metres from touching down and the fuel in the wing caught fire and it exploded.
This has not yet been confirmed by any authorities. Following the crash, president Olusegun Obasanjo ordered all Sosoliso planes grounded. The airline ceased to function in 2006.
5. ADC Airlines
Aviation Development Company (ADC) airlines was a Nigerian airline headquartered in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria. It operated domestic scheduled services and regional charter flights.
On November 7, 1996 an ADC Boeing 727-231 Flight 86 en route from Port Harcourt crashed into the lagoon in Lagos 30 km from Lagos airport while trying to avoid a collision with another aircraft flying out of Lagos airport.
On July 29, 1997 a BAC One-Eleven 203AE landing at Calabar overshot the runway and an engine caught fire. There was one fatality.
On October 29, 2006 a passenger plane, crashed near the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Local radio called on doctors to rush to the scene. One hundred and four people were on board the Boeing 737-200, which was traveling to Sokoto, and hospitals report seven survivors were found – six in a stable condition.
The spiritual head of Nigerian Muslims, Sultan Maccido of Sokoto, died in the crash. His son, who is a senator, the deputy governor of Sokoto state and at least one other senator were also victims.
The airline has since been suspended in 2006 by the Nigerian government until further notice.
6. Okada Air
The owner of Okada Air was Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin. It was an airline based in Benin City, Nigeria. It was established in 1983 with a fleet of BAC-One Eleven 300s. It resumed charter operations in September 1983.
In 1984, a Boeing 707-355C was acquired for cargo operations. By 1990, ten BAC One-Elevens were bought, and eight more were acquired in 1991. The company was granted the right of operating international flights in 1992.
On June 26, 1991 a BAC One-Eleven 402AP, registration 5N-AOW belonging to Okada Air force-landed 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) off Sokoto Airport due to fuel exhaustion.
There were three fatalities, all of them passengers. The aircraft had been diverted from the original Benin City–Kano route because of bad weather at the airport of destination. The airline ceased operations in 2002.