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Arik Air to resume Abuja-Maiduguri flights next Monday

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Arik Air has reintroduced flights from Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja to Maiduguri, Borno State.

The airline said this would take effect from next Monday May 10, 2021.

The airline announced this in a statement signed by Public Relations and Communications Manager, Adebanji Ola.

The statement added that passengers travelling from Lagos could connect seamlessly to this service from Abuja.

The airline said flights would be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The statement quoted Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Roy Ilegbodu, as saying, “We are delighted to reintroduce our services to Maiduguri, following popular demand by our customers for Arik’s presence in the city.

“Customers on this route should again expect the traditional Arik Air hospitality and exceptional service that have become the hallmark of the airline.”

The airline announced the resumption of direct flights from Lagos to Kano in April.

Ilegbodu had said then that the decision to reintroduce direct flights between Lagos and Kano was due to the importance of both cities.

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NiMET predicts three-day heavy rains from today, flight disruption

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The Nigeria Meteorological Agency has alerted to flight disruption in coming days, predicting heavy rains in parts of the country, mostly in the North, from Tuesday to Thursday.

Newstrends reports that domestic flights going out of Lagos to other parts of the country on Friday were delayed for many hours as a result of persistent downpour.

NiMET, in its weather forecast numbered 202109023 released on Monday, said heavy rains would be experienced in parts of Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Niger states.

It also said moderate rainfall would be witnessed in parts of Yobe, Kwara, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Lagos, Edo, Delta, Taraba, Adamawa, Ekiti, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Abia, Imo, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

According to NiMET, light rains are expected over the rest of the country.

It however said due to the presence of good amount of soil-moisture and the expected heavy rainfall, there are increased chances of flashflood events on roads, settlements, farmlands and bridges.

This is in addition to chances of reduced horizontal visibility which can disrupt vehicular traffic and flight operations.

“Hence, the public is advised to exercise restraint, avoid low-lying areas and fast flowing runoff waters,” the forecast said.

NiMET also predicted the possibility of moderate rainfall events leading to slippery roads, reducing travel time, with increased likelihood of cars skidding off the road and chances of crashes.

It stated, “Strong winds are expected to accompany the moderate to heavy rains which can lead to falling of unsecured objects, weak buildings and exposed structures.

“Hence, the public is advised to be prepared for these events to avoid damages from rain-related hazard and watch out for updates. Elsewhere (See places in Green), no hydrometeorological hazards are anticipated.”

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Nigeria’s $500m Tucano jets, largest purchase in sub-Saharan Africa – US

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Nigeria’s purchase of 12 new A-29 Super Tucano jets at a sum of $500 million is the largest single arms procurement in sub-Saharan Africa, the United States Department of Defense has said.

Gen. Jeff Harrigian, the US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa commander, disclosed this on Tuesday at the A-29 Super Tucano induction ceremony, hosted by Nigerian Minister of Defense Bashir Salihi Magashi and the Nigerian Air Force in Abuja.

“The Nigerian Air Force is one of our key partners that play a critical role in furthering regional security and stability,” Harrigian was quoted as saying in a statement by the US Embassy in Abuja.

“This ceremony symbolizes the strength of our unique partnership and underscores the value of training and working together,” he said.

The Super Tucanos were the impetus for the significant deepening of training and professional relationships, he added.

The statement said, “Precision targeting, air-to-ground integration, and human rights training are all included in the partnership between the U.S. and Nigeria.

“The aircraft will assist the Nigerian Air Force in their fight against violent extremist organizations including the Islamic State West Africa Province.

“The joint structure of air-to-ground integration also supports Nigerian Army and Navy operations.

“Nigeria purchased the A-29s through the Foreign Military Sales programme, which follows the Department of Defense’s “Total Package Approach” model and includes spare parts for several years of operation, contract logistics support, munitions, and a multi-year construction project to improve Kainji Air Base infrastructure.

“The total sale is valued at almost $500 million, making it the largest FMS program in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Harrigian said the A-29 is a prime tool to help Nigeria combat violent extremism and is vital to sustained deterrence.

“The total package deal—aircrew and maintainer training, precision-guided weapon delivery, and more—highlights our enduring partnership with the Nigerian Air Force and our commitment to enabling their successes where we can.”

A total of 64 pilots and maintainers from the Nigerian Air Force were trained to U.S. standards with the U.S. Air Force’s 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Base in Georgia, USA.

 

The training also emphasized the Law of Armed Conflict and civilian casualty mitigation, which are fundamental principles of the Nigerian military’s professional education and training.

 

As part of the programme, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing $36.1M in infrastructure support to the A-29s’ home base, Kainji Air Base, including covered magazines and aircraft sunshades, a new airfield hot cargo pad, perimeter and security fencing, airfield lights, and various airfield apron, parking, hangar, and entry control point enhancements.

 

The infrastructure package also includes a flight annex wing building for simulator training as well as munitions assembly and storage and small arms storage.

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Nigeria to partner Hungarian firm on aircraft assembly plant

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The Federal Government is set to partner Magnus aircraft manufacturing firm in Hungary to establish an assembling plant and manufacture of light airplanes in Nigeria.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, stated this while on an inspection visit to the Magnus Aircraft Industry in Pogany, Hungary.

He said the partnership would be to assemble airplanes locally, from start to finish, and before the end of the Buhari administration.

“If we venture with them, we may start with assembling plants and later manufacturing,” Sirika said.

According to the minister, the Magnus aircraft has an airplane that is good for military training, has an aerobatic manoeuvre and is made of fully composite materials high strength and very lightweight.

He explained that aerobatics is the practice of flying manoeuvres involving aircraft attitudes that are not used in normal flights, adding that aerobatics are performed in airplanes and gliders for training, recreation, entertainment and sports.

Sirika further expressed satisfaction with the features and more than willing to facilitate the production of the airplanes in Nigeria, saying one of the significant features of the Magnus aircraft is the use of normal car petrol.

The minister who was at the facility on the invitation of the company said the proposed partnership with the aircraft manufacturer would be subjected to further analysis to verify the market and government willingness to partner with a significant amount of money and logistics.

He said the local production of aircraft in the country would facilitate the growth of Nigeria as a regional aviation superpower as it would also come with maintenance and repair facilities to attract patronage from neighbouring countries.

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