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Exit Virgin Nigeria  
User currently offlineENU From Netherlands, joined Nov 2006, 1166 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 17074 times:

The Virgin name will disappear from Nigerian flag carrier Virgin Nigeria next month as British billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic cuts its ties with the firm.

Virgin Atlantic is looking to sell its 49 percent stake in the Nigerian airline, for which it paid around $25 million in 2005. A technical partnership ended last week and Virgin Atlantic staff have finished their secondments.

The Virgin Nigeria board is due to meet next week to finalise the name change, with possibilities including "Air Nigeria" and "Nigerian Eagle".

Virgin Nigeria will receive two EMB-190s later this month and flights to Banjul will commence on June, 14.

Source: http://af.reuters.com/article/investingNews/idAFJOE55609520090607

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 17037 times:

Thank for posting that news. I never thought it was a good idea as an airline and I thought the livery was vile.

Hope the new airline gets in the PR and branding companies and we see a brand new, shiny Nigerian airline using wholey Nigerian staff.


User currently offlineSsublyme From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 16836 times:

I've mentioned in the Nigeria thread that I thought dropping the Virgin brand wouldn't be a bad idea, so I for one am not saddened or dissapointed by this event. At the same time, I hope the new name is nothing like Air Nigeria, Nigeria Eagle, Nigeria Airways etc or any other name with the word Nigeria in it. If it will indeed be a fully private airline (without any govt. ownership) the word Nigeria should not show up in the name. If it does, I Personally feel that will not distance the airline enough from the federal govt. and will only encourage (or atleast not discourage) it's meddling.

They should distance themselves both from Richard Branson/Virgin Atlantic and the Federal Govt. which set up the original airline. This in no way should look like another federal government attempt at replacing the original Nigeria Airways.


User currently offlineBeeweel15 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1750 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 15858 times:



Quoting Ssublyme (Reply 2):
At the same time, I hope the new name is nothing like Air Nigeria, Nigeria Eagle, Nigeria Airways etc or any other name with the word Nigeria in it.

IF they are happy with the name use it. Who knows some of the current airlines in Nigeria there is meddling from the government.


User currently offlineFlitemax From Spain, joined Aug 2007, 249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 14090 times:



Quoting Ssublyme (Reply 2):
I've mentioned in the Nigeria thread that I thought dropping the Virgin brand wouldn't be a bad idea, so I for one am not saddened or dissapointed by this event. At the same time, I hope the new name is nothing like Air Nigeria, Nigeria Eagle, Nigeria Airways etc or any other name with the word Nigeria in it. If it will indeed be a fully private airline (without any govt. ownership) the word Nigeria should not show up in the name. If it does, I Personally feel that will not distance the airline enough from the federal govt. and will only encourage (or atleast not discourage) it's meddling.

They should distance themselves both from Richard Branson/Virgin Atlantic and the Federal Govt. which set up the original airline. This in no way should look like another federal government attempt at replacing the original Nigeria Airways.

TOTALLY agree with you. You've hit it spot on. The only drawback at this suddden "debranding" is that the carrier could lose value prior to Virgin's exit, further eroding shareholder value and the possibility of bringing in serious cash from the next owners...

As for name candidates here are my modest proposals!:

9jet ("Naija" is a popular nickname for Nigeria)
Eko Air (Eko is the African name of Lagos)
EkoJet
Ekofly
Westlink (would reinforce the business plan of becoming a leading regional african airline in West Africa), could have a technical cooperation agreement with SAA/Airlink

In any case the livery ought to avoid Virgin Nigeria's mistake of totally ignoring African or Nigerian culture.

Nigeria is a cultural melting pot and surely a professional agency would have no problems at all in proposing a truly insiring livery for a fresh new start...

Adieu Virgin Nigeria!


User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8324 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 14015 times:
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With Arik Air and Afrikiya doesn't Nigeria have enough international airlines. Arik is making a great ambassador for its home country, why mess with a god thing.

User currently offlineAerdingus From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 2826 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 13693 times:



Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 5):
Afrikiya

I think Afriqiyah is Libya based.



Cabin crew blog http://dolefuldolegirl.blogspot.ie/
User currently offlineSsublyme From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13163 times:



Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 5):
With Arik Air and Afrikiya doesn't Nigeria have enough international airlines.

As mentioned, Afriqiyah is not a Nigerian airline. But why would you think 2 international airlines is plenty for a country of 150+Million?


User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 12995 times:



Quoting Ssublyme (Reply 7):
...But why would you think 2 international airlines is plenty for a country of 150+Million?

Because unfortunately enough I would estimate that 80% of that population could not afford to fly. Until Nigeria can control the widespread graft, narrow the very wide income national disparity and bring down the unemployment rate significantly for the long term, I fear even 2 international carriers may be too much.



"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineSsublyme From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 12716 times:



Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 8):
Because unfortunately enough I would estimate that 80% of that population could not afford to fly.

Ridiculous if you ask me. By that math there are 30Mil(20%) that can afford to fly. How many airlines would you then expect the UAE with a total pop. of what, 5Mill to have? Perhaps the 30Mil should only have one domestic choice to fly because 'unemployment is high', and 'there is wide disparity in income'? Some would even argue this second airline is actually creating jobs and helping bridge the disparity.

Anyway, this is a thread about VK's potential rebranding exercise not a thread about Nigeria and everything one percieves is wrong with it. No place for backwards thinkers, there are plenty other threads for that.


User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1352 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 11276 times:

Here's hoping the new name isn't "Nigerian Eagle." The whole "eagle" thing is grossly overused in aviation.

I suppose Nigeria Airways is a bit too tainted, so why not plain old Air Nigeria? Or just Nigerian?


PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16248 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 11210 times:



Quoting Ssublyme (Reply 2):
I've mentioned in the Nigeria thread that I thought dropping the Virgin brand wouldn't be a bad idea

I disagree. In a country as difficult to travel to as NIgeria, the association with Virgin added credibility to this Nigerian carrier, which was (or is) lacking with all other Nigerian carriers.



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineSsublyme From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 10736 times:



Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 11):
In a country as difficult to travel to as NIgeria, the association with Virgin added credibility to this Nigerian carrier, which was (or is) lacking with all other Nigerian carriers.

I agree Virgin brought much needed improvements and helped raise the bar for Nigerian aviation, but I wouldn't say Nigeria is difficult to fly to. Not more so than many other countries anyway. With regards to credibility, Arik has done a superb job (by many accounts a better job than VK) without the same level of partnership with a foreign airline.

I just think VK's initial setup was not healthy enough to promote a true international airline out of Nigeria, with this second go-around, steps should be taken to ensure any semblance of participation/influence by the original players should be completely eliminated.

Here's to continued progress in Nigerian aviation and to it's two biggest international players Arik Air & Virgin Nigeria (now), Eko Air (later, perhaps)????????


User currently offlineAsoRock From Bahrain, joined May 2006, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 10330 times:



Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 11):
I disagree. In a country as difficult to travel to as NIgeria, the association with Virgin added credibility to this Nigerian carrier, which was (or is) lacking with all other Nigerian carriers.

If you dig into this Nigerian airline's background, you will find that it has a tumultuous history marred by the worse PR management ever. If you mention the name Virgin Nigeria, it will bring memories of frequent flight delays, cancelations, route cutting (first Dubai, then London and Johannesburg), customer disregard (such as offering an A340 with PTVs then degenerating into an old 767 operator with no form of IFE). Of course there was the whole media coverage of the Federal Government sending its agents to smash the airline's First Class lounge in the international wing of Lagos Airport, in retaliation for its refusal to follow government orders). So brand re-orientation is a MUST for commercial purposes.

Virgin Nigeria fared terribly as a result of Richard Branson's short-sightedness, very poor management promoted by Virgin Atlantic, the Nigerian government's failing to draft an agreement conducive to competition in Nigeria and of course its backtracking on this very agreement.

Now that the airline has lost its VIRGINITY, it can look forward to a new chapter, a clean page to start again, to mature under a new capable, Nigerian and cost-effective management team.

Good luck to the carrier in the rebranding.


User currently offlineFlitemax From Spain, joined Aug 2007, 249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 10268 times:

One of my posts was deleted by the moderators. I'lll try again!

SRB was a stingy chap who thought he could offload ageing aircraft into Nigeria using an un-African brand and venture capital (not his own money).

The airline was grossly under-capitalized and VK paid the ultimate price in brand erosion and yes I would say near insolvency.

I second this toast to Nigerian aviation and a continued improvement in the industry!

Does anyone have the email of the new managers, I'd like to mail them my brand name suggestions!


User currently offlineGhDc10 From Canada, joined Dec 2008, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 10007 times:



Quoting Ssublyme (Reply 9):

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 8):
Because unfortunately enough I would estimate that 80% of that population could not afford to fly.

Ridiculous if you ask me. By that math there are 30Mil(20%) that can afford to fly. How many airlines would you then expect the UAE with a total pop. of what, 5Mill to have? Perhaps the 30Mil should only have one domestic choice to fly because 'unemployment is high', and 'there is wide disparity in income'? Some would even argue this second airline is actually creating jobs and helping bridge the disparity.

Anyway, this is a thread about VK's potential rebranding exercise not a thread about Nigeria and everything one percieves is wrong with it. No place for backwards thinkers, there are plenty other threads for that.

Right on ssublyme!

By the way, ethiopian is busy setting up a hub in lome for ASKY airlines so they better pick a name that appeals to both the Nigerian and west african market. It appears there is strong and still growing demand for travel within the sub region and we all know how much Nigerians are investing in across ecowas.

my suggestion: West African

Whatever the name of the airline, I wonder if one of them, either Arik or the new VN will move all or most operations to the lekki airport upon completion.



http://gate53.blogspot.com
User currently offlineFlitemax From Spain, joined Aug 2007, 249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9920 times:



Quoting GhDc10 (Reply 16):
Whatever the name of the airline, I wonder if one of them, either Arik or the new VN will move all or most operations to the lekki airport upon completion.

There is a jungle of legal issues to surmount before the promoters of Lekki Airport get the final nod from both the Federal Govt. and Lagos State Govt.

The concession agreement signed with the Bi-Courtney Consortium for exclusive right to service domestic flights out of Lagos for a period of 35 years has a clear clause that forbids the govt., FAAN, or anyone from building/operating another domestic terminal in Lagos.

But if Arik Air is involved in this, and I suspect they are, I'm sure they can work something out, perhaps the Govt. can give Bi-Courtney other "incentives" to keep cool (preferential investor status in other infrastructure projects in the country, etc.) they already seam to have been awarded the Lagos-Ibadan highway project.

Let's keep on aviation though!


User currently onlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9645 times:

I was wondering/waiting when this/for this to happen, lol.  Smile

Quoting Flitemax (Reply 15):
SRB was a stingy chap who thought he could offload ageing aircraft into Nigeria using an un-African brand and venture capital (not his own money).

Yes but I think he ultimately just said the heck with this after the gov't started to interfere too much.

Quoting AsoRock (Reply 14):
Of course there was the whole media coverage of the Federal Government sending its agents to smash the airline's First Class lounge in the international wing of Lagos Airport, in retaliation for its refusal to follow government orders).

ROFL, I didn't know this happened. I would pay to see that!



oh boy!!!
User currently offlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 5986 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 9228 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Reply 10):
Here's hoping the new name isn't "Nigerian Eagle." The whole "eagle" thing is grossly overused in aviation.

The Eagle is the national bird of Nigeria - and the Nigerian national football team has been known as the Eagles for a while, so I guess there's an Eagle connection somewhere  Wink


User currently offlineAsoRock From Bahrain, joined May 2006, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 9151 times:



Quoting CPH-R (Reply 19):
The Eagle is the national bird of Nigeria - and the Nigerian national football team has been known as the Eagles for a while, so I guess there's an Eagle connection somewhere

Not to mention, their frequent flyer program is called EagleFlyer Big grin Another reason to chose this brand


User currently offlineENU From Netherlands, joined Nov 2006, 1166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8716 times:



Quoting Flitemax (Reply 4):
In any case the livery ought to avoid Virgin Nigeria's mistake of totally ignoring African or Nigerian culture.

I don't agree. I think VK did a good job to raise the standards in the Nigerian aviation industry. With regard to the livery: it's the only airline in Nigeria sporting the colour green. How are Arik, Bellview or Aero reflecting African or Nigerian culture?



The main reasons for the failure are:

- Bad management by British Virgin staff
- Lack of capital
- Poor fleet decisions
- Stiff competition from Arik and international carriers
- Strained relations with Nigerian authorities

In the end, I think both Virgin and the Nigerian investors/travellers could have profited from the project. And it's sad that the airline didn't succeed. For those arguing that Virgin should have never embarked with this project: they could have succeeded and made a lot of money, if only they invested as much as a fraction of the money and energy put into Virgin America. SRB thought he could do it the easy way... At least VK did exist for some time, unlike Virgin Russia, Virgin India, Virgin Brazil - all announced in the past years.


User currently offlineFlitemax From Spain, joined Aug 2007, 249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7991 times:

"Eagle" is overused by soo many Nigerian entities (Nigerian Eagles football team, Eaglets, etc.) and it was also the proposed name for an airline proposed earlier in 2002

Quoting ENU (Reply 21):
How are Arik, Bellview or Aero reflecting African or Nigerian culture?

ENU, we both know the flag was added when much ado was stirred about the brand not being Nigerian enough. Bellview, Chanchangi and Dana also sport the Nigerian flag. What I was referring to was a commitment to promoting Nigeria as a cultural spot. The country is blessed with many ethnic groups and traditional arts and crafts and history! Just look at the fabric motifs that come out of Eastern/Southern Nigeria, simply awsome!

Besides the livery issue there's the type face which is inconsistent: you have 2 versions: fuselage (old VS font) and website/ticketing versions (new font). I suspect it was to minimze royalty?!

[Edited 2009-06-08 03:31:06]

User currently offlineSsublyme From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6914 times:

I wonder if the 2 new E190's to be delivered will sport it's new brand/name? hmmmm  scratchchin 

User currently offline757ops From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6811 times:



Quoting Ssublyme (Reply 7):
Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 5):
With Arik Air and Afrikiya doesn't Nigeria have enough international airlines.

As mentioned, Afriqiyah is not a Nigerian airline. But why would you think 2 international airlines is plenty for a country of 150+Million?

Are we forgetting Belleview? Nigeria is a huge market, KL/BA/DL/ET/SA/AF/KQ/DL/AZ/LH/EK to name a few are flying into there, the market for oil traffic alone is immense, Nigeria could handle many more airlines yet!


User currently offlineAsoRock From Bahrain, joined May 2006, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6586 times:



Quoting Ssublyme (Reply 23):
I wonder if the 2 new E190's to be delivered will sport it's new brand/name? hmmmm

I believe it'll be 1 E-190 and 1 E-170, as the airline's press release states.

This brand re-orientation was long planned and I'm sure the new CEO Dapo Olumide has incorporated this into an updated business plan to raise the necessary cash the airline needs (US $ 30 million) to proceed with aircraft modernization and return of costly leased 737-300s.

So yes, I'm sure Embraer will only release both E-jets once they're painted with the airline's new brand.

I really like the ekoFly name, or even 9jet if it can be understood properly outside of Nigeria (9 being short for Naija (Nigeria)).

This renaming strategy will pay off as it would infuse much needed morale into the airline.


25 Sq_ek_freak : How does this account for any of the very high yield international corporate traffic that streams into Nigeria?
26 AsoRock : It seems Virgin Nigeria might merge with a local airline, according to the BBC. Coming to think about it, it makes perfect sense for Aero (asa aerocon
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