Impacto
Topic Author
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:31 pm

Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:25 pm

This TR is the continuation for this one Canada To Nigeria Part 1 (Some Pics Included). (by Impacto Aug 7 2007 in Trip Reports) in case you haven't viewed it. After spending a night in Lagos, it was finally time to head home to Abuja.We had the option of travelling the day we arrived but were too tired to continue after travelling and waiting for about 20hrs. Moreover I also hate those night flights as I wouldn't be able to capture the the desired photos. Our uncle assisted us in booking our flight for tomorrow. I had opted him to book with Arik Air since they were newer, but their 11:00am flight which we were targeting was fully booked. So Virgin Nigeria it was at 11:15am. We didn't have much time to view the city of Lagos and what had become of it. The only view I had was coming from the airport and going back.

AT THE AIRPORT

This time we got to the airport quite early at 9:45am just to avoid any inconvience that may arise, which are quite frequent in this corner of the world. The airport has noticeable gone through some major reforms over the past years. No more harassments from touts and fake agents with security around the area tighten. There are police at every corner you look. That wasn't the case the last time I was there. Unlike other airports in the world, Lagos airport like other airports in Nigeria strictly allows passengers only into the main terminal building.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0562.jpg
Taken at the parking lot.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0563.jpg
View from the domestic section of the airport. You can see Bellview and North American 767, a Virgin Atlantic A340-600 taxing to the runway for departure and an Arik Dash 8 300 wing.

The International terminal itself has been divided into two section. On the left side is all International flights including Virgin Nigeria, and on the right side is Virgin Nigeria and Arik Air, domestic. Check in was a breeze even though some people were cutting lines. Some people here feel too big to follow a queue. My bag weighed about 32kg which was excess for the airline's standard for domestic. I was required to pay a fee of 500 Naira which is equivilent to about $4. From the check-in counter, take 10 steps and your already at security were your carry-on will be scanned. Take another 5 steps from there and your already at the gate and boarding area. Quite a small area overall.

Airline: Virgin Nigeria
Flight Number: 45
Destination: Lagos(LOS) - Abuja(ABV)
Aircraft: 737-300 (5N-VNG)
Departure Time: 11:15am
Actual Time Of Departure: 11:35am
Arrival Time: 12:10pm
Actual Arrival Time: 12:40pm
Seat: 25F (Y Class)

The waiting area was quite clean which was a surprise. The area was well air conditioned and had a number of TV sets around. There was also a small cafe which sold snacks and drinks. I tried taking some photos during our short stay there, but figured out it was too risky as those men in uniform were everywhere.The plane that was suppose to take us to Abuja arrived late which automatically meant boarding, departure and arrival will be behind schedule. Boarding was at 11:15, which was suppose to be our time of departure.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0564.jpg
At the gate. Shortly before departure.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0566.jpg
During push back.

The interior of the 737 was somewhat impressive. It had green leather seats which were comfortable. You could not tell that the aircraft was leased from Easyjet. The interior must have gone through a complete makeover because I really wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. The crew were also very moderate, polite and tried to act professional. Before take-off, the captain came on to the speaker and gave us information on our flight. We will be cruising at an altitude of 33000ft, which is rather high for a short flight. I remember when I use to fly this route with other domestic airlines, its usually 25000 to 27000ft. As we taxied to the runway, I saw other traffic at the airport and I decided this was an opportunity to snap some photo. Just as I was about to start, a cabin crew lady came towards our row and told me that it wasn't allowed to use a camera onboard. Whats up with people in this country with taking pictures in planes and airports? That was indeed the reason I didn't have much photos for trip. Take-off was at around 11:47 and like any other short-haul flight was quite uneventful.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0567.jpg
At least third world airlines still offer free food. You can choose either a sandwich, chicken pie or cake and your choice of Juice or soda. The sandwich is beef bolgna with other ingredients inside.

I fell asleep for the rest since I couldn't take anymore pictures and didn't wake up till we started our descend from 33000ft. We landed at around 12:38 pm. Taxiing to gate took a very long time as the Abuja runway is very long. With the crew sitted at their seats during landing and taxiing, I took the opportunity to snap some pics. Even though we terminated at the International terminal, we deboarded through the stirs.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0570.jpg
Taxiing after landing. The rock on the left is known as zuma rock.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0572.jpg
Very difficult to get a decent cabin shot when you are being watched.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0573.jpg

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0574.jpg

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0575.jpg
Picture of our plane after deboarding. The photo looks awkward because i was in a rush to snap it without being caught.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0576.jpg
Arik and Virgin Nigeria also operate from the International terminal at Abuja.

The deboarding process was fast, so was the arrival of goods on the convey belt. This was my first time of actually arriving at the International wing of Abuja airport. Its smaller, but neater than that of Lagos.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0579.jpg

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/ngum_2007/DSCF0580.jpg
Home at last. Taken from outside my house, and believe it or not, a guy passing by asked me why I was taking pictures!

Thanks for reading!
 
flitemax
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:35 pm

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:30 pm

Great report  Smile So glad to see the first ever trip report from Nigeria! I appreciate your risk-taking (please take the time to read my Sama 737 trip report as well!).
OK i had a few questions/comments!

Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
The airport has noticeable gone through some major reforms over the past years. No more harassments from touts and fake agents with security around the area tighten.

Did you hear about the Travelex office which was raided by bandits a few days ago? That branch is located at the international wing and according to press reports, the criminals broke the glass of the terminal building using their cars. The police arrived 1 hour (ONE HOUR!) later to confront them with live fire and apparently, the bandits either ran away or were apprehended. They should have known better, an international company like Travelex doesn't take risk and as such had a powerful vault that couldn't be broken! I read this story on www.punchng.com and thisdayonline.com.

Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
You can see Bellview and North American 767, a Virgin Atlantic A340-600 taxing to the runway for departure and an Arik Dash 8 300 wing.

As we speak, a VS A340-600 is impounded in LOS following a crew drug trafficking bust by NDEA.

Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
Check in was a breeze even though some people were cutting lines.

Ah the ogas! Just curious, but what would happen if you told them "excuse me go back in line and act civilized!" ?

Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
At least third world airlines still offer free food

I believe the proper term these days is "airlines of developing countries". "Third world" is an expired term  Smile

Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
Taxiing after landing. The rock on the left is known as zuma rock.

Are you sure? Zuma is about 30 kms away, while this one looks about 5-10 km away.

Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
Very difficult to get a decent cabin shot when you are being watched.

Good effort!

Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
Picture of our plane after deboarding. The photo looks awkward because i was in a rush to snap it without being caught.

Again, it gives us an idea. It's good to know VK customized the interior. At least they can compete with Arik using their leather seats. Not crazy about the green color though.

Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
Home at last. Taken from outside my house, and believe it or not, a guy passing by asked me why I was taking pictures!

Looks really gorgeous, lush, exotic. The guy, you should tell him "non of your business now walk away". Ha!  Smile
 
bakersdozen
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:24 pm

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:31 am

nice report. Interesting to see some photos from a unique airline
 
semsem
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:09 pm

Thanks for posting these interesting pictures of a place not too many people visit.
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8132
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:11 am

Nice follow-up TR!

Thanks for taking a risk and getting some pic's for us, much appreciated.

Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
his time we got to the airport quite early at 9:45am just to avoid any inconvience that may arise,

- Wise given your previous troubles.......

Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
You could not tell that the aircraft was leased from Easyjet

- The plane is indeed ex Easyjet, however is not leased from Easyjet.

Rgds

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
Boeing744
Posts: 1735
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:27 pm

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Sat Aug 11, 2007 11:45 am

Hi there,

Thanks for a nice, uncommon report (same goes for your first one)! Out of interest, how much would a flight like this cost last minute? You said you booked the day before, right?
 
KL577
Posts: 533
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:21 am

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:24 pm

Nice report again, and in fact the view from your house is beautiful!

Quoting Flitemax (Reply 1):
Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
Taxiing after landing. The rock on the left is known as zuma rock.

Are you sure? Zuma is about 30 kms away, while this one looks about 5-10 km away.

No it's not Zuma rock, though you can see it during landing on some very clear days in the distance behind that rock. When you leave the airport by car, instead of turning left to Abuja, you can turn right and join the Lokoja-Suleja road, which you'll reach in 10 minutes. It is then still about 30-40 minutes to Suleja and Zuma rock.
 
flitemax
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:35 pm

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:43 am

Since we're talking about Zuma, Aso, etc. Why aren't these beautiful granites lit up at night? Can you imagine how beautiful they'd be? Ouch just remembered PHCN can't supply power to homes, let alone rocks  Smile
 
femialpha
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:04 am

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:29 am

Nice trip report. I will be in Lagos and Abuja via Paris in October and hope to get past those eagle eyed security operatives to take some good shots.
 
Evan767
Posts: 2198
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:52 am

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Sun Aug 12, 2007 8:15 am

Wow...! What a long trip! Guess now you won't be as exhausted when traveling to North America because will be able to take Delta's LOS-ATL flight!
The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
 
Impacto
Topic Author
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:31 pm

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:22 pm

Quoting Flitemax (Reply 1):
Great report So glad to see the first ever trip report from Nigeria! I appreciate your risk-taking



Quoting Bakersdozen (Reply 2):
nice report. Interesting to see some photos from a unique airline



Quoting Semsem (Reply 3):
Thanks for posting these interesting pictures of a place not too many people visit.



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 4):
Nice follow-up TR!

Thanks for taking a risk and getting some pic's for us, much appreciated.



Quoting Boeing744 (Reply 5):
Thanks for a nice, uncommon report (same goes for your first one)!



Quoting KL577 (Reply 6):
Nice report again, and in fact the view from your house is beautiful!



Quoting Femialpha (Reply 8):
Nice trip report.

Thank you!

Quoting Flitemax (Reply 1):
I believe the proper term these days is "airlines of developing countries". "Third world" is an expired term

Tell people in the Western World to stop that then!

Quoting Flitemax (Reply 1):
Are you sure? Zuma is about 30 kms away, while this one looks about 5-10 km away.



Quoting KL577 (Reply 6):
No it's not Zuma rock, though you can see it during landing on some very clear days in the distance behind that rock. When you leave the airport by car, instead of turning left to Abuja, you can turn right and join the Lokoja-Suleja road, which you'll reach in 10 minutes. It is then still about 30-40 minutes to Suleja and Zuma rock

You are both right. I was wrong. I saw the Zuma rock when we were making the approach and I thought that was it because it was the biggest rock around.

Quoting Boeing744 (Reply 5):
Out of interest, how much would a flight like this cost last minute? You said you booked the day before, right?

In Nigeria, the ticket prices are constant even if you book and buy your ticket 15 mins before departure. It was around 15000 naira which is around $138 CAD.

Quoting Flitemax (Reply 7):
Since we're talking about Zuma, Aso, etc. Why aren't these beautiful granites lit up at night? Can you imagine how beautiful they'd be? Ouch just remembered PHCN can't supply power to homes, let alone rocks

LOL!!

Quoting Femialpha (Reply 8):
I will be in Lagos and Abuja via Paris in October and hope to get past those eagle eyed security operatives to take some good shots.

Looking forward to that!, you must be ready to make some sacrifices if caught!

Quoting Evan767 (Reply 9):
Wow...! What a long trip! Guess now you won't be as exhausted when traveling to North America because will be able to take Delta's LOS-ATL flight!

Well, saving money is always my main priority and it all depends on the price, but indeed less stressful!
 
5YKQW
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:04 pm

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:12 pm

hello
nice to see a very positive report about nigerian aviation. Hope fellow netters can post more stories about their flights to or within Africa. I hope to post some from Kisumu airport once I get security clearance
Thanks
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 21027
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:23 pm

Nice TR , something different. I really enjoyed it .

OA260
 
ENU
Posts: 666
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:30 am

RE: Canada To Nigeria Part 2 (Virgin Nigeria To Abuja)

Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:11 am

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 4):
Quoting Impacto (Thread starter):
You could not tell that the aircraft was leased from Easyjet

- The plane is indeed ex Easyjet, however is not leased from Easyjet.

Indeed, they are leased from GECAS.

Thanks again for the trip report and pictures, Impacto!

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