Rano Air, a new Nigerian airline, has finally taken flight after a four-year delay since its foundation. The airline received its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) in April 2023 and commenced operations on May 7. With Rano Air’s launch, the number of active airlines in Nigeria has risen to twelve. Owned by oil mogul Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi Rano, the airline aims to cater to the domestic market, connecting major cities in Nigeria with its fleet of Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft.
Delayed Launch and Fleet Details
Rano Air faced a significant delay in its launch, finally taking flight in May 2023, four years after its establishment in 2019. The airline’s fleet consists of five Embraer ERJ 145s, which have an average age of 21 years. These aircraft were previously in service with various airlines in the United States. With a seating capacity of 50 passengers, Rano Air aims to provide comfortable and efficient travel experiences within Nigeria.
Operations and Destinations
Operating from the Abuja airport, the capital of Nigeria, Rano Air initially focuses on domestic operations. The airline’s maiden flights connected Abuja with Kano, Lagos, and Maiduguri on May 7. The following day, Rano Air launched its first flight between Abuja and Maiduguri, while also planning direct services between Maiduguri and Kano. The airline aims to serve key destinations in Nigeria, including Sokoto, in the near future.
Ownership and Certification Process
Rano Air is owned by Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi Rano, the founder and CEO of the A.A. Rano Group, an oil and gas company in Nigeria. The airline’s certification process was prolonged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed aircraft procurement by approximately one year. However, after securing the AOC from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority on April 14, 2023, Rano Air was finally able to proceed with its commercial operations.
— Rano Air (@RanoAir) April 14, 2023
Expansion Plans and Government Approval
Rano Air has ambitious plans for expansion. The airline aims to establish a strong presence in the Nigerian aviation market by offering reliable and efficient services. In December 2022, Rano Air obtained permission from the Nigerian federal government to operate domestic flights to and from various cities, including Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Sokoto, Maiduguri, and others.