The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended with immediate effect all B737 operations of MaxAir (Nigeria) (VM, Katsina) following four serious safety incidents involving two aircraft in May and July 2023.

In a statement, the NCAA said a team of inspectors would conduct an audit of the airline, the results of which would have to be satisfactory before MaxAir is allowed to further resume operating the type. Specifically, the NCAA had suspended parts A3 and D43 in MaxAir's B737 Operations Specifications (OpSpecs).

The NCAA said the suspension resulted from the following incidents:

  • On May 7, 2023, B737-400 5N-MBD (msn 28704) lost one main landing gear (MLG) during a flight between Yola and Abuja. On July 11, 2023, high Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) resulted in an aborted take-off of the same aircraft at Kano.
  • On July 7, 2023, fuel contamination of the main fuel tanks of B737-300 5N-MHM (msn 28330) led to the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) shutting down on the ground at Yola Airport. On July 11, 2023, the same aircraft had to make an air return to Abuja due to a duct overheating indication in the cockpit.

The airline was not immediately available for comment.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, the grounding of the B737 Classics leaves MaxAir with three functioning aircraft: one B747-400 (two others of the type are grounded) and one Embraer Legacy 600. The airline last month also acquired its first B777-200.

The grounded B737-400, 5N-MBD, is the only one of its type in the fleet. MaxAir has five B737-300s, but the now-suspended 5N-MHM was the only one not in maintenance or stored.