Medview Airline started domestic flights in November 2012 after being in the business of flying for more than five years. But in this time, Medview only did Hajj flights. Did you know this? What else do you know about this airline headquartered in Lagos and quoted in the Nigerian Stock Exchange? Here are five things you need to know.
1, They have twice more destinations than fleet
It is normal for Nigerian airways to have airlines with more destinations than planes on their fleet. For Medview Airline, this is even more pronounced as they have seven planes plying eighteen destinations. This is nearly one plane for three destinations.
Interestingly, these destinations are not located just in Nigeria. They fly to Dakar, Senegal; Accra, Ghana, Conakry, Guinea; Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; Monrovia, Liberia; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Jedda, Saudi Arabia; Dubai; and London. This is in addition to flights to Kano, Kaduna, Enugu, Lagos, Yola, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt, Owerri and the FCT. The Medview fleet flies to eight countries on three continents.
As is usual with Nigeria airlines, this fleet is not made of new planes. They are full of second-hand planes, used in Europe or America and retired to Nigeria. The average age of Medview Airline planes is twenty-five years, with the oldest manufactured in 1981 and the most recent in 1997.
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In 2007, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) blacklisted one of the planes Boeing 767 from plying the London route for not being airworthy.
2, Medview Airline started as a charter airline
When Medview Airline started operation in 2007, they only flew the Jedda Route in Saudi Arabia. Considering the billions of dollars that that Nigerian government commits to pilgrimages, this was no mean business. They expanded, however, in 2012 with local and West African flights. Due to their history of ferrying pilgrims from the largely Muslim majority Northern Nigeria, Medview Airline today ply more destinations in the north—including Abuja.
3, They are looking for investors
Forget bitcoin, you can invest in Medview Airline. The company announced in 2007, in Kano, through its managing director Bankole that they are in need of funds to the tune of 50 million dollars. This is in order to carry out expansions of the flight operations into the South African market. He confirmed that the company sought to buy two Boing planes to add to their six-plane fleet.
The director said: “We are coming to talk to UAE banks and investors to see how they can be a partner. We hope to close the deal for two new aircraft in the first quarter.” The first quarter of 2017 has past and since the company hasn’t added to its fleet, it can only be that their fundraising talk didn’t bear fruits. That is where you come in.
4, Medview has a loyalty programme for customers
Tagged Blue Flyers, this programme is made to reward the customer each time they fly Medview by calculating the miles the customer covered and translating it to tickets. There are three levels for this. The bronze, the silver and the gold levels.
The Bronze Card which is the least afford you the benefit to choose your seat (subject to, of course, its availability). The Silver Card gives you the entitlements of family account and priorities for boarding, check-ins and transfers. For the Gold Card, all the benefits of the bronze and silver cards, plus a 15 percent bonus for miles earned every six months, VIP lounge access, priority reservation waitlist and extra baggage allowance.
Terms and conditions apply. In fact, there is a long list of terms and conditions for the membership and eligibility. You can check it here.
5, The Company no longer fly to Dubai
For now. According to the company, in January 2018 announced through the Managing Director, Muneer Bankole that the airline was suspending flights to Dubai until. Medview Airline began the Dubai operation in December 2017. The reason he gave was in order to enable the airline complete its maintenance and refurbishment. Before this, Medview Airline operated the Dubai route thrice a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturday) via Lagos and Abuja. For many, this announcement was a way of leaving the route with some saving face. Time will tell.
The words of Bankole, however, sounded ominous. “In this part of the word,” he said, “it is difficult to compete with the big players. If you do not have the resources and support from the central bank to provide you dollars for the operations, there is no how you can survive.”Will Medview Dubai operation survive? The deciding factor has been noted, time.