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Suspension of Max Air’s B737 Fleet Will Affect Jos-Abuja Flights

Written by on July 13, 2023

On Wednesday, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended the operations of Boeing B737 aircraft in Max Air’s fleet following an investigation by David Hundeyin’s West Africa Weekly regarding continued safety breaches by the airline.

These breaches include the loss of a main landing gear wheel involving B737-400 during a Yola-Abuja flight, fuel contamination of B737-300 in Yola, an aborted take-off in Kano involving B737-400 and an on-air overheating incident on B737-300.

Boeing 737 is a preferred aircraft for several domestic airline operators in Nigeria. According to PlaneSpotters, Max Air currently has six Boeing 737 in its fleet of 11, two of which are parked. The other aircraft on the fleet include two Boeing 747, one Boeing 777 and two Embraer ERJ-145 (one operates for VIPs only).

With the NCAA suspension, only five of its nine active aircraft will be operational pending audit by the aviation authority. This means that most of its flights across the country including the Jos-Abuja route will be cancelled.

Max Air launched its operations in Jos in 2020, following a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the state government and the airline. Currently, Max Air is the only aircraft that travels the Jos-Abuja route. At the time of this report, all the flights on the route were cancelled.

However, the airline is yet to make any public comment on the issue. In the meantime, passengers travelling out or into the Plateau state capital will have to leverage modern transport companies like Valgee Transport Services, Nengee Shuttles, BlueWhales and other road transport options.

Air transport has continued to be a challenge in Plateau state. In 2020, Pan-African edtech company uLesson moved its headquarters from Jos [to Abuja] due to its inability to access regional flight connections. This decision came a few weeks after Max Air moved into Jos, at the time only Arik Air was in the state plying the Jos-Lagos route only; Arik resumed operations in the state in July 2020. Currently, Arik and the newly launched Value Jet ply the route.

Read NCAA’s full statement below:

Featured Image: A Max Air B737 Aircraft at the Yakubu Gowon Airport, Heipang-Jos.

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