Nigeria welcomes a new addition to its aviation landscape with NG Eagle, the country’s latest carrier, set to commence flights connecting Abuja and Lagos.
The airline plans to launch its inaugural flight on Sunday, December 10, utilizing an Airbus A320 on a wet-lease arrangement from Lithuania.
According to simpleflying.com, Today, December 10, Nigeria and the West African region will see the first flight of a new carrier, Nigerian Eagle (operating as NG Eagle).
Dependent on a fleet of two wet-leased Airbus A320s and two Boeing 737-700s, this airline is looking to operate flights to and from Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS).
A first of many NG Eagle will inaugurate its commercial services throughout Nigeria with a flight between Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV) and Lagos on Sunday. According to the NG Eagle website, the airline will employ an Airbus A320 to operate the inaugural service. Both of NG Eagle’s A320s are wet-leased from Lithuania’s Heston Airlines.
This is particularly interesting due to the fact that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) does not allow airlines to commence operations with wet-leased aircraft. The NCAA holds that airlines can only start operations with a Nigerian-registered (5N) aircraft as per Sahara Reporters. Flight 2N-900 between Abuja and Lagos is scheduled to last one hour and fifteen minutes, with a planned departure time from Abuja of 10:00 and a scheduled arrival time in Lagos at 11:15 local time. On social media, NG Eagle posted ahead of its inaugural service, stating, “Join the Eagle as it Soars into the Sky.
Catch our inaugural flight tomorrow from Abuja to Lagos.” Vanguard has also reported that NG Eagle is slated to make its maiden flight on Sunday. In celebration of the inaugural flight, NG Eagle Managing Director Captain A E Dare stated to Vanguard: “The forthcoming inaugural flight of NG Eagle represents an incredible milestone for us, embodying our dedication to revolutionizing travel experiences while reflecting the rich values of the Naija Spirit. We are thrilled to commence this journey and offer passengers an extraordinary flying experience.”
Dare added: “NG Eagle’s inaugural flight promises an exceptional travel experience characterized by safety, comfort, reliability, and an unwavering commitment to providing top-tier air travel experience. The airline’s meticulous preparations for the inaugural flight demonstrates a significant step towards not merely transporting passengers but curating memorable journeys that forge lasting connections, hence, connecting hearts.”
The birth of an airline In 2019, NG Eagle was first set up by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), a government agency set up in 2010 to recover debts. The initial goal was to begin passenger flights in 2021. One of AMCON’s subsidiaries is Arik Air, a private Nigerian carrier currently in receivership, which was acquired in February 2017 due to mismanagement and significant debt.
Despite receiving two Boeing 737-700s (operated previously by Arik Air) in February 2021, the airline has yet to take to the skies. The airline received its air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the NCAA on September 21, 2021, which would expire three years later. Nevertheless, the NCAA extended NG Eagle’s AOC by six months on September 20, 2023, allowing the airline to commence commercial operations.
Earlier this year, the Federal High Court in Lagos blocked an attempt to transfer assets from Arik Air to NG Eagle. Following the ruling, the NG Eagle was sold to Abdul Ahmad, who is keen on the airline commencing operations. Most recently, in mid-November, NG Eagle acquired two wet-leased Airbus A320s (LY-FJI and LY-WSM) from Lithuania’s Heston Airlines. Both planes were delivered with the NG Eagle livery as the airline hoped to begin commercial service on December 1, 2023. Nevertheless, ten days later, NG Eagle will finally take to the skies for the first time.