Air Nigeria terminated operations on Monday, citing “staff disloyalty and environmental challenges”.
The carrier, formerly Virgin Nigeria, was established in 2004 when the Nigerian government and Virgin signed an MoU, but Virgin sold its minority stake two years ago.
According to the Nigerian Voice, stranded passengers at London Gatwick were told to contribute extra £40 each for the purchase of fuel as there was none left to fly the aircraft. It launched daily flights between Lagos and Gatwick in May, using A330-200 aircraft configured for 295 passengers.
At the time, David Amurun, Air Nigeria’s Country Manager for the UK, said after a “successful turn-around of the airline over the last two years, the airline is now well-positioned to compete favourably on the international market”.
In the last company statement in July, the airline said staff had “reaffirmed their loyalty” and it anticipated resuming regional and domestic operations.
The airline also operated B737-300s and Embraer E190s, which offered business class seat pitches of 31 inches.
Several Nigeria airlines have folded in recent years due to lack of finance or poor safety. Dana Air flight 992, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, crashed into an apartment block in a populated Lagos suburb in June, killing 153 people onboard and 10 others on the ground.
Source: Business Traveler USA