Air Nigeria – Ratings and Reviews


Full Review (Air Nigeria)

Air Nigeria was originally named Virgin Nigeria Airways and subsequently, Nigerian Eagle Airlines. It was the national flag carrier of Nigeria, which operated scheduled regional and domestic passenger services. The airline, which effectively replaced the defunct Nigeria Airways, was founded in 2004 as a joint venture between Nigerian investors and the Virgin Group. Virgin withdrew from the business during 2008-2010 and after changing its name twice, Air Nigeria ceased operations on 10 September 2012.

The airline’s base was Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and London Gatwick Airport, its head office was in Lagos Island, Lagos State and the C&M building in Crawley, and its registered office was in Ikoyi, Lagos State.

On 28 September 2004, the Nigerian government and Virgin Group signed an agreement to establish a new airline for Nigeria, to be called Virgin Nigeria Airways.

Nigerian institutional investors owned 51% of the company and Virgin Atlantic Airways the remaining 49%. The airline’s inaugural flight was on 28 June 2005 from Lagos to London Heathrow, using an Airbus A340-300 aircraft. Virgin Nigeria quickly became one of Nigeria’s largest airlines, carrying its 1,000,000th passenger and 4,000th ton of freight within two years of operation. The airline also received accolades including THISDAY Awards 2006 Airline of the year and a nomination for 2006 African Airline of the year by ASATA (Association of South African Travel Agents). Virgin Nigeria had plans to make

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja its second base, where, in addition to its Lagos base Murtala Muhammed International Airport, it was meant to serve all countries in West Africa.

The Nigerian government set a deadline of 30 April 2007 for all airlines operating in the country to re-capitalise or be grounded, in an effort to ensure better services and safety. The airline satisfied the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)’s criteria in terms of re-capitalization and was re-registered for operation.

On 2 June 2010, following the acquisition of a majority share in the airline, Jimoh Ibrahim, the new Chairman, announced that the airline had undergone a further name change to Air Nigeria Development Limited, branded as Air Nigeria. On 13 June 2012, the carrier was grounded by regulators for safety checks.

On 6 September 2012 Air Nigeria announced that the management had fired its staff ‘for being disloyal’ and the airline will cease all its local, regional and international operations. Operations ceased on 10 September 2012.


Quick Review (Air Nigeria)

Founded:            2004 (as Virgin Nigeria)

Operations Commenced:            28 June 2005

Ceased operations:         10 September 2012

Operating bases:              Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Frequent-flyer program:             Eagleflier

Fleet size:           12

Destinations:     19

Parent company:            Nicon Group (50%), Virgin Atlantic Airways (50%)

Headquarters:  Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria

Key people:        Jimoh Ibrahim (Chairman)