There are over 23 domestic and international airlines in Nigeria. The aviation sector has experienced a great level of growth in the last two decades.
Several airlines operate locally and internationally to provide a faster means of transportation for citizens of the country and visitors. This list contains brief profiles of all the domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria as of 2022.
DOMESTIC AIRLINES IN NIGERIA
The domestic airlines listed here are strictly those that have an air operator’s certificate officially issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. They fly Nigerian nationals and visitors to and from major cities in Nigeria like Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Calabar, Kano, Kano amongst others.
AERO CONTRACTORS: This airline which is popularly known as “Aero” is considered one of the oldest airlines in West Africa and was officially registered in 1960. It has its base at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Ikeja, Lagos. The airline has two divisions: Aero Nigeria which provides scheduled passenger services in Nigeria and Western Africa and the Rotary Wing which provides helicopter services for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. As of 2022, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria owns 60% of Aero’s shares while the Ibru family owns the remaining 40%. Aero flies to 15 destinations including Accra, Ghana.
AIR PEACE: Air Peace is a relatively new airline founded in 2013 by the Nigerian businessman, Allen Onyema. It is considered to be one of the largest airlines in Nigeria as its destinations include major cities in Nigeria as well as countries in West Africa and the Middle East. Its head office is located at Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria.
ARIK AIR: Arik Air was founded in 2002 by Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide but officially scheduled passenger flights in 2006. The airline currently flies to 7 destinations in Nigeria although it once ran a regional and international flight network to countries like the United States, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and Ghana. It operates from Arik Air Aviation Center at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
ALLIED AIR: Allied Air was established in 1998 by founder, Valentine Tongo and is primarily a cargo airline that operates scheduled to charter based services to Port Harcourt, Abuja, Cameroun, Kenya, Gabon, and even Belgium. They currently have 7 aircraft in their fleet.
AZMAN AIR: This Kano-based airline was founded in 2010 by businessman Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina but started operations in 2014. Its base is at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano from where it operates scheduled domestic flights to major cities in Nigeria.
DANA AIR: Dana Air, a subsidiary of Dana Group is a popular airline in Nigeria was founded in 2008 and has its base at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. It currently flies to five destinations in Nigeria including Abuja, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Owerri, and Enugu.
DORNIER AVIATION NIGERIA: This airline, founded in 1979, is one of the oldest in Nigeria and operates aircraft charter, FBO services, aircraft management, and maintenance. Its base is at Old Airport, Kaduna in Kaduna state but it does not operate scheduled flights.
GREEN AFRICA AIRWAYS: This is one of the newest airlines in Nigeria which was established in 2015 by Babawande Afolabi, but started its operation in August 2021. Its operating base is at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos State. Green Africa currently flies from Lagos to Port Harcourt, Akure, and Abuja.
IBOM AIR: Ibom Air is the only airline in Nigeria that is owned by a state government. The Akwa Ibom state government established the airline in 2019 with flights from Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo, to Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. Ibom Air has 7 aircraft in its fleet which flies to seven states in Nigeria.
KABO AIR: Kabo Air is a charter airline founded in 1980 by Late Alhaji Muhammadu Adamu Dankabo but is currently owned by Kabo Holdings. Currently, Kabo Air does not operate scheduled flights but focuses on charter operations, especially for pilgrim flights under its own name and on behalf of other airlines. It operates from Mallam Aminu International Airport in Kano.
MAX AIR: Max Air was launched in 2008 by businessman, Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal and has its base at Mallam Aminu International Airport, Kano. Although its flights’ destinations are majorly Nigerian Northern states, they also offer scheduled flights to states in other regions of Nigeria.
OVERLAND AIRWAYS: This airline commenced operations in 2002 and has its main base at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. They offer scheduled flights to major cities in Nigeria as well as trips to the Benin Republic, Togo and Niger.
UNITED NIGERIA AIRWAYS: This new airline is a subsidiary of Private Airlines Services Limited and it started operations in 2021. Their operation base is at Enugu International Airport and currently has four aircraft in its fleet. It offers scheduled flights to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Asaba, Owerri, Enugu, Bayelsa.
INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES OPERATING IN NIGERIA
Apart from the domestic airlines operating within Nigeria, there are several international airlines that fly people in and out of Nigeria to their destinations in other continents. This is a profile of the airlines which ply international routes.
BRITISH AIRWAYS: This is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom and was founded in 1919. Its operations span over 183 countries and it has a fleet of over 254 aircrafts. It has its own engineering branch that maintains its fleet in over 70 airports around the world.
EMIRATES: Emirates is the largest airline and one of two flag carriers of the United Arab Emirates. It is a subsidiary of the Emirates Group and operates in over 150 cities in 80 countries across 6 continents with its fleet of nearly 300 aircrafts.
VIRGIN ATLANTIC: This is a British airline established in 1984 and is currently owned by its parent company, Virgin Atlantic Limited. It currently flies to over 32 destinations with a fleet size of over 37 aircrafts.
KLM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES: This airline was founded on October 5, 1919 and is the oldest airline in the world. It is the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands and is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group. It operates scheduled passenger and cargo flights to over 145 destinations with a fleet of over 149 aircrafts excluding its subsidiaries.
AIR FRANCE: Air France is the flag carrier airline of France and is a subsidiary of Air France-KLM Group. It operates worldwide passenger and cargo services to over 175 destinations in 78 countries with a fleet size of over 214 aircrafts.
QATAR AIRWAYS: This is the state-owned flag carrier airline of Qatar and flies to over 150 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, Oceania with its fleet of over 200 aircraft.
DELTA AIRLINES: Founded in 1929, Delta is one of the United States’ major airlines and it is a legacy carrier. With its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, the airline flies to over 325 destinations in 52 countries with a fleet size of over 750 aircrafts as of 2020. It is considered to be No. 2 among the world’s largest airlines by the number of scheduled passengers carried, revenue-passenger flown and its fleet size.
TURKISH AIRLINES: This is the flag carrier airline of Turkey and it operates scheduled flights to over 315 destinations in over 126 countries. It serves more destinations from one airport than any other airline in the world with its fleet size of 373 aircrafts.
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRLINES: This is the flag carrier airline of South Africa and was founded in 1934 and is run by the Department of Public Enterprise, a ministry in the South African government. It currently flies to over 30 destinations in over 17 countries with a fleet of 14 aircrafts.
SAUDIA: Saudia is a flag carrier airline of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah and is owned by the government of Saudi Arabia. It is the third-largest in the Middle East based on revenue behind Emirates and Qatar Airways. It offers domestic flights and international flight services to over 100 countries with its fleet size of over 152 aircrafts
EGYPTAIR: Egyptair is the state-owned flag carrier airline of Egypt and it has its headquarters at Cairo International Airport. It operates scheduled and freight services to over 75 destinations across 5 continents.
ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES: This is a flag carrier airline for Ethiopia and is solely owned by the Ethiopian government. It has its headquarters at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, and secondary hubs in Togo and Malawi. The airline popularly known as “Ethiopian” is Africa’s largest airline based on passengers carried, destinations served, fleet size, and revenue. It is also considered to be the world’s 4th largest airline by the number of countries served.