Med-View Airline (VL, Kano) has suspended flight operations after its only remaining active aircraft - B737-500 5N-BQM (msn 28055) - was grounded for technical reasons earlier this month. According to Flightradar24 ADS-B data, the 21-year-old jet last operated on August 10 as flight VL2015 Abuja-Lagos.

Commenting on the development, airline management told The Guardian (Nigeria) that the “downtime” was only temporary, as the technical issues were due to be resolved for operations to resume shortly.

Hamstrung by a string of net losses during the first half of 2019 - NGN957.585 million naira (USD3.129 million) during 2Q19 and NGN1.729 billion (USD5.65 million) during 1Q19 - Med-View has struggled to maintain buoyancy which has, in turn, impacted efforts to grow its fleet.

In the past, the publicly-listed carrier has repeatedly claimed it would return several aircraft that are currently undergoing maintenance, including a B737-400 and B767-300(ER), to service in an effort to boost its operations. However, to date, none have arrived necessitating the retrenchment of 60 staff in October last year.

According to Sahara Reporters, Med-View has also accused the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) of "deliberately frustrating" its participation in this year's Hajj uplift after it refused to accede to a commission directive that it cede some of its pilgrims to Saudi carrier, flynas (XY, Riyadh).

The airline's law firm, Maritime, Commercial and Immigration Law Chambers, claimed in correspondence seen by the site that rather than allowing Med-View, which had airlifted 4,383 of its allotted 5,720 pilgrims, to continue its Hajj program in partnership with MaxAir (Nigeria) (VM, Katsina), NAHCON chairman Adbullahi Mukhtar had wanted to compel Med-View to re-route some of its pilgrims to flynas.

“If they were dissatisfied with the performance, why increase our pilgrims to 6,443 only to write that we have failed to discharge our obligation when the Med-view Managing Director explicitly refused to give its pilgrims to flynas and insisted on its agreement with MaxAir and Air Peace?" Debo Adeleke, a solicitor at the Maritime, Commercial and Immigration Law Chambers, said. “Someone in NAHCON is actively, surreptitiously and clandestinely working to sabotage the economic policy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission must be brought in to look at this situation."