Nigeria’s Central Bank announced it has extended a USD3.3 billion bailout for the country’s domestic carriers (Associated Press/BBC News/AllAfrica, 31-May-2010). The fund will allow carriers to refinance their loans for 10 to 15 years. The bank stated the decision was made over its concerns about the heavy debt of the industry and the need to allow carriers to plan the settlement of their accrued loans. It considers the heavy debt profile is a risk to these banks and the banking industry. The Nigerian aviation industry consists of 21 registered operators with valid air operation certificates, 10 of which are commercial carriers and 11 are charter and cargo carriers. Of the commercial carriers, three are grounded, while seven are experiencing difficulties. The seven still in operation include Arik Air, AeroContrator, Associated Aviation, Chanchangi Airlines, Dana Air, IRS Airlines, Overland Airways and Virgin Nigeria. The carriers owe the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) USD59.5 million, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) USD13.2 million and ground handling operators, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, SAHCOL and Nahcoaviance more than USD19.8 million.
Nigeria’s Central Bank extends USD3.3bn bailout for domestic carriers
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Ethiopian Airlines expands in West Africa with 737-800s at Togo affiliate ASKY & Lome-Newark service
Ethiopian Airlines is building up its West African operation, through expansion at the Togo-based affiliate ASKY and new long haul services from Lome to New York and São Paulo. ASKY is adding capacity to several of its 19 destinations as it takes delivery of two 737-800s, which will be the largest aircraft in its fleet.
ASKY took delivery of its first 737-800 in early Jun-2016, giving it a fleet of eight aircraft including three 737-700s and four Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s. ASKY plans to take delivery of a second 737-800 by the end of 2016, which will be used to replace one of its Dash 8 Q400s, driving a further increase in capacity.
Ethiopian resumed services from Lome to São Paulo in May-2016 and plans to launch services from Lome to Newark in early Jul-2016. ASKY is playing a critical feeder role for both long haul routes and its expansion also enables it to increase its share of the intra-West Africa market.