Kenya and Nigeria authorise return of 737 MAX

Both Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have announced the lifting of the ban on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, following two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

Kenya and Nigeria authorise return of 737 MAX.  Image:  Boeing 737-8 MAX wikipedia

NCAA Director General Captain Musa Nuhu said the aircraft model had been granted approval to operate in Nigeria’s airspace following the recertification and Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


“All national operators intending to operate must work with the Boeing company and the NCAA for the Aircraft Type Certificate Acceptance Program in order for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to be registered in Nigeria and issued a Certificate of Airworthiness Standard,” outlined Nuhu. “All foreign air operators who intend to operate the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Nigeria must provide evidence of compliance with the FAA's airworthiness directive.”


Nigerian airlines with 737 MAXs on order include Air Peace (ten 737 MAX 8s), Arik Air (eight 737 MAX 8s) and Green Africa Airways (50 firm orders and 50 options), according to the CAPA fleet database. In December 2018, Lagos-based Green Africa Airways announced a commitment for up to 100 737 MAX 8 aircraft, evenly split into 50 firm aircraft order and 50 options, representing the largest Boeing aircraft deal for the African continent.


While none of Kenya's airlines currently operate the Boeing 737 MAX, the recertification will allow other carriers, such as Ethiopian Airlines and Turkish Airlines, to fly the MAX into Kenya’s airspace.


“The airlines are free to fly Boeing 737 Max to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, there are no restrictions that we are going to impose,” said Gilbert Kibe, the KCAA’s Director General.


However, Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam indicated that the airline would restart the Boeing 737 MAX operations only in July 2021. Currently, Ethiopian Airlines has four Boeing 737 MAX 8s in its fleet, which have been parked at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD).