Another Nigerian startup - K-impex Airline (Abuja) - is planning to enter the local scheduled passenger, charter, and cargo market in the first quarter of 2022, reports Nigerian Flight Deck.

The blog quotes Chief Executive Officer Abel Ozigi saying that the company is in the market for seven aircraft, including:

  • one freighter with 15 to 20-tonne capacity to ferry perishable and non-perishable goods, initially on domestic routes and expanding regionally within six months;
  • four passenger aircraft for scheduled operations; and
  • two 12-seater aircraft for passenger charters.

He was unwilling to disclose which aircraft types were being sourced. “We are quite aware of the implications of using the right model of aircraft for domestic operations so we are ordering the most suitable aeroplanes for our local and regional operations,” he said.

The company's business plan on its website reveals it is targeting commencement of operations with seven aircraft including four Embraer (E175, E170, E145, and EMB-145XR); one B737-800 freighter; and two eight-seater Learjet 40/45s, all to be operated on dry lease. Contact had been made with lessor Global Jet Sales Services for the lease of Embraer jets. Cash flow of NGN1 billion naira (USD2.4 million) is to be sourced from commercial lenders, according to the business plan.

On inquiry from ch-aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it was unaware of the company and that it had not yet made an application for an operating license (OL) or an air operator's certificate (AOC).

According to the company profile, Knights Impex Limited has formed 20 years ago "with the intent of cargo import and export from Nigeria". K-Impex Airlines Limited itself was formed in 2021 to incorporate passenger services and take advantage of a gap in the short-haul Nigerian domestic market out of Abuja. Mention is made of planned B737-800 scheduled and on-demand cargo services and Embraer E-jets for smaller capacity scheduled passenger services covering 43 under-served destinations (including airfields) in Nigeria, with particular focus on northern areas of the country.

"Our research and projections indicate that air travel to and from Abuja is sufficient to provide a new carrier with excellent revenues in its first full year of operation, utilising six aircraft on selected short-haul routes. These sales figures are based upon load factors of only 80% in year one. The smaller Embraer jets have a market load factor of over 95% in the Nigeria aviation sector," the business plan reads.

On the cargo side, Ozigi - who has a background in engineering - said the company aims to fill a market gap created by decaying road infrastructure in Nigeria which was hampering the transportation of goods, while frequent accidents and attacks by bandits on highways were a concern for distributors. Airfreight would further ensure the delivery of fresh perishables and avoid inter-state road taxes levied on trucks.

Immediate past managing director of Afrijet Airlines (6F, Lagos), Mohammed Tukur, was appointed managing director of K-Impex Airline Ltd on March 1, 2021, according to the company profile. He was also operations coordinator at the defunct Chanchangi Airlines (NCH, Kaduna Int'l) between 1997 and 2008, and the country representative of Kabo Air (QNK, Kano) in Saudi Arabia (1987 – 1996). He was reportedly instrumental in setting up Afrijet Airlines, Rahamaniyya Airlines (Abuja), and Royal Crystal Airways (Nigeria).