One of the four Airbus A310-200 aircraft belonging to the former national carrier, Nigeria Airways, has been put up for sale in Gilly, Belgium at €100,000 (N39,967,038.75 official market rate).
The aircraft with registration number 5N-AUG was impounded in Brussels, Belgium by Sabina Technics in 1990s because of the inability of the management of the airline to pay the maintenance fee for the checks carried out on it by the French’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company.
Further investigation carried out by our correspondent indicated that the aircraft was delivered to the Nigerian government in December 1984 from Airbus Company in Toulouse, France with the manufacturer serial number (MSN): 329, test registration: F-WZEA, configuration: F24Y195 and engine number: 2x PW.
After the impounding of the aircraft and the indifference of the Nigerian government to offset the bill, Sabina Technics got court injunction to own or sell the airplane to a willing company, which was later sold to an organisation in Gilly.
The aircraft was sold to the unnamed company on September 10, 1999 by Sabina Technics.
Information gathered indicated that the company, after acquisition, reconverted the plane to an Italian restaurant and discotheque and even a cocktail bar was hosted in the belly of the aircraft that was named ‘Lekki Peninsula’ in its active flying days. After conversion, the airplane could accommodate about 220 guests at a go.
Besides, the wings of the aircraft were also redesigned as a terrace for guests. However, after over 20 years of acquisition by the company, it has once again put it up for sale at €100,000, while also advising intending buyer to pay another €100,000 to dismantle and transport the aircraft.
The company said: “Price: The sellers are asking €100,000, one little detail though: you need to pay another €100,000 to dismantle and to transport the aircraft. “The buyer must have a total of 30 acres of space. The aircraft is an ex-Nigeria Airways Airbus A310-200 with registration 5N-AUG.”
The Nigerian government had taken delivery of four A310-200 aircraft in one day in December 1984 with three of the aircraft eventually sold as scraps.
For instance, the A310-200 with the registration number: 5N-AUE, the manufacturer serial number (MSN): 270, test registration: F-WZEN was dismantled at the Lagos airport in July 2006 from the aerodrome’s graveyard.
Besides, another A310-200, with the registration number: 5N-AUF, manufacturer serial number (MSN): 285 and test registration: F-WZEB was also destroyed and sold as scrap at the Lagos airport in 2011 by the Federal Government.
The last of the four A310-200 aircraft with the registration number 5N-AUH, manufacturer serial number (MSN): 340 and test registration: F-WZEH was also scrapped in Lagos by the government.
Like others, the aircraft were moved to the graveyard by the government when Nigeria Airways was liquidated in 2004 by the Federal Government over alleged massive debts.