Azman Air, one of Nigeria’s domestic carriers, has returned its only wide-bodied aircraft to Egypt’s Air Leisure, the charter company where the aircraft was leased from, Daily Trust can report.
The A330-200 aircraft was acquired in October 2017 for the airline’s international operations to Jeddah, Dubai and China.
However, about six months after the acquisition, the airplane with over 260-passenger capacity was ferried from the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport to the Cairo International Airport on March 22, without flying.
The reason for returning the aircraft was sketchy as at press time, but it was learnt that the development may not be unconnected with the expiration of the lease agreement.
Daily Trust reports that the airline has been granted approval for international operations to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jeddah and China from its hub in Kano.
The official who sought anonymity because he was not in a position to speak for the company, said, “Yes, truly the aircraft has been returned, but the airline will soon take delivery of a new big aircraft; especially for Hajj operations.”
Another source said the airline must have returned the aircraft to the Egyptian company because of high lease payment which it felt was not sustainable.
Daily Trust learnt from industry sources that the aircraft could have gulped between $480,000 and $500,000 in lease payment monthly.
The General Manager, Finance, of the company, Alhaji Sani Lawal, said he had been indisposed and away from office.
Also, the Operations Manager, Mr. Saminu Tanko, said he did not have details about the development.