Domestic Airlines in Nigeria

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Almost a century ago, the first aircraft landed in Nigeria on November 1, 1925. The flight, which was an international flight, was led by Flight Lt Coningham with the hope of gaining experience over long distance flights in tropical countries. The flight started from a town in Egypt and landed in Kano, Nigeria after spending 16 days on the journey. This successful flight birthed the thought of air service in Nigeria, which was eventually implemented in 1930.

At first, the air service dealt only with international flights. But, with the large population and problems associated with long distance travel, domestic flight was inaugurated by government to ease traveling within the country. International passport is not needed for domestic flights in Nigeria, although passengers would be required to present a means of identification when purchasing flight tickets.

Domestic Airlines in Nigeria

Air service has proved to be the safest and easiest means of transportation in Nigeria. Many people have turned to travelling by air within the country especially with the insecurity issues in the country. There are a total of 20 airports located in popular cities in Nigeria. Different airlines use these airports to take off and land flights. Currently, there are a total of 23 airlines that offer air travel within the country. Here’s a list of active domestic airlines in Nigeria.

12. MedView Airline

One of the best local and regional airlines in Nigeria, MedView Airline is headquartered at Murtala Muhammed International in Lagos.

MedView, also referred to as “the airline of Nigeria,” was founded in 2007 to provide emergency services to Muslim pilgrims traveling through several states of Nigeria. In 2012, the airline’s local commercial operations opened to willing travelers in Nigeria.

Since that time, the airline has expanded its reach to include places like Accra in Ghana, London-Gatwick Airport in the UK, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Yola, Enugu, and Maiduguri in Nigeria.

Benefits include access to VIP Lounges, priority check-in and boarding, as well as an increase in the amount of checked baggage that Business and Economy passengers can bring on international flights, between 60kg and 76kg.

11. Kanem Air

Kanem air is the latest addition to the list of airlines in Nigeria and operates only domestic flights for now. It is based at the Maiduguri international airport, Borno state and commenced operations in 2022.  It mainly operates flight from Maiduguri to other cities in Borno state. It also offers flight to destinations like Lagos, Kano, Osun, Yola and some others.

10. Green Africa Airways

Green Africa airways is based at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. It was founded in 2015, by Babawande Afolabi but began operations in 2021. Their vision is to build a world class airline to serve destinations within Nigeria and countries in the entire African continent. Currently, the airline serves seven destinations, which are: Abuja, Lagos, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Akure and Ilorin, with plans of expansion. The airline also boasts of having the largest airbus order in Africa.

9. United Nigeria Airlines

United Nigeria Airlines is a private airline and a subsidiary of Private Airlines services limited. It was established in 2020 and offers air transport services to cities, such as: Lagos,Abuja, Asaba,.Port Harcourt, Enugu, Owerri etc. It operates from the Murtala Muhammed international airport, Lagos.

8. Azman Air

Azman air is another domestic airline in Nigeria and was founded in 2010 by popular businessman, AbdulMunaf Yunusa Sarina. Its headquarters is at the Mallam Aminu Kano international airport, Kano. In 2017, the airline began to offer international flights with an airbus leased from an Egyptian airline. Later, the lease was cancelled, and the airline has since been focusing on domestic flight. The airline has a fleet of about six aircraft including Boeing 737-300, 737-500 and an Airbus A340-600.

7. Ibom Air

Ibom air is a state-owned airline owned by the Akwa Ibom state government. It was established in 2019 and awarded the title of the first state owned airline in Nigeria. It is based at the Victor Attah International airport, Uyo and offers flights to major cities in Nigeria like, Abuja, Lagos, Calabar, Port Harcourt and Enugu.

6. Max Air

Max air is owned by popular businessman, Dahiru Barau Mangal. It was founded in 2008 and currently operates both international and domestic flights. It is also the longest serving international airline in Nigeria. Its headquarters is located at the Mallam Aminu Kano international airport, Kano. Its domestic flights operate destinations in cities like Abuja, Lagos, Yola, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Katsina and Bauchi. MaxAir has two Boeing 747-400s which are fully dedicated to Hajj and Umrah travels undertaken by Muslims.

5. Overland Airways

Overland airways began operations in 2002 and has its base at the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International airport, Lagos. It operates only domestic air service and currently offers flight to 10 destinations across Nigeria. The destinations include cities like: Abuja, Bauchi, Ibadan, Jalingo, Ilorin, Asaba, Dutse, Lagos, Akure.

4. Aero Contractors

Aero contractors is Nigeria’s oldest airline. It was founded in 1959 and operates flight within Nigeria and west Africa. The airline also provides a helicopter service mainly for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. It is based at the Murtala Muhammed international airport, Lagos and operates flight destination in 13 states including Benin, Calabar, Kaduna, Sokoto, Uyo and some others.

3. Dana Air

List of Domestic airlines in Nigeria cannot be mentioned without taking cognizance of Dana air. It became popular in 2012, when one of its domestic planes crashed into a two storey building, killing all passengers on board. The airline has since improved on its operations and offers both domeatic and charter flights.It was founded in 2008 and serve destinations in 20 major cities such as Owerri, Abuja, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Uyo and Lagos. Dana air is known for its affordable flight fees due to its cheaper aircrafts.

2. Arik Air

Arik air was founded in 2002 but began operations in 2006. It is based at the Murtala Muhammed international airport, Lagos and has a hub at the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport, Abuja. The airline inherited the ground facilities of the Nigerian airways after its fall in 2006. It operates both domestic and international flights covering many cities in Nigeria and West African countries. When it first began operations, it carried out flight operations to destinations like London, Dubai and New York, which has since been suspended. Recently, the airline has been experiencing major financial crisis and is projected to merge with aero contractors under the name, Nigeria Eagle.

1. Air Peace

Air peace is a privately owned airline and adjudged the largest airline in Nigeria and west Africa. It was founded in 2013 by Allen Onyeama and currently operates domestic, charter, regional and international flights. It has an impressive fleet size of 31 including Boeing 737, Boeing 777-300 and embracer 145. The airline offers domestic flight services to all major cities in Nigeria like Calabar, Gombe, Markudi, Warri, Awka, Akure and several others. Air peace flies from the Murtala Muhammed international airport, Lagos.

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