ADC Airlines was a Nigerian airline owned by Aviation Development Company plc and headquartered in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria. It operated domestic scheduled services and regional charter flights. It had applied to be designated on international routes. Its main base was Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
Aviation Development Company plc opened in December 1984. In 1990 the company began to set up ADC Airlines, which became operational on 1 January 1991. In 1994 the airline was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Originally it offered domestic services to Calabar, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja and Kaduna and regional services to Monrovia in Liberia, Freetown in Sierra Leone, Conakry in Guinea, Banjul in Gambia and Accra in Ghana.
In 2000 it was decided to temporarily suspend ADC Airlines operations in order to re-capitalise the company. In February 2002 a Boeing 737-200 was acquired and operations restarted to Calabar. Since then three further Boeing 737s have joined the fleet. The airline is owned by the Aviation Development Company (ADC).
The Nigerian government set a deadline of 30 April 2007 for all airlines operating in the country to re-capitalize or be grounded, in an effort to ensure better services and safety. Seven airlines failed to meet the deadline and as a result would not be allowed fly in Nigeria’s airspace with effect from April 30, 2007. These were: ADC Airlines, Fresh Air, Sosoliso Airlines, Albarka Air, Chrome Air Service, Dasab Airlines and Space World Airline. The affected airlines would only fly when they satisfied the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)’s criteria in terms of re-capitalization and thus be re-registered for operation.
ADC airlines operated over 120 flights a week on the following services (at February 2005):Abuja to Lagos, Sokoto and Yola
Calabar to Lagos and Port Harcourt
Lagos to Abuja, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Sokoto and Yola
Port Harcourt to Calabar and Lagos
Sokoto to Abuja and Lagos
Yola to Abuja and Lagos
All flights have been suspended since the crash of ADC Airlines flight 053
The 1990s saw a number of accidents with ADC Airlines planes. In August 1994 and July 1995 two DC-9-31s were written off in non-fatal accidents, both at Monrovia-Spriggs Payne Airport.
On 7 November 1996 a Boeing 727-231 Flight 86 en route from Port Harcourt crashed into the lagoon in Lagos 30 km from Lagos airport while trying to avoid a collision with another aircraft flying out of Lagos airport. Flown by decorated former Nigeria Airways captain, Captain Dafe. On 29 July 1997 a BAC One-Eleven 203AE landing at Calabar overshot the runway and an engine caught fire. There was one fatality.
On 29 October 2006 a passenger plane, crashed near the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Local radio called on doctors to rush to the scene. One hundred and four people were on board the Boeing 737-200, which was traveling to Sokoto, and hospitals report seven survivors were found – six in a stable condition. The spiritual head of Nigerian Muslims, Sultan Maccido of Sokoto, died in the crash. His son, who is a senator, the deputy governor of Sokoto state and at least one other senator were also victims.
The airline has since been suspended by the Nigerian government until further notice.
The ADC Airlines fleet consisted of the following aircraft in October 2006:3 Boeing 737-200
A variety of aircraft types have been operated in the past including: 1 Boeing 707-338C, 2 BAC One-Elevens, 3 Boeing 727s, 3 Douglas DC-9s, 1 Lockheed L-1011 TriStar and 1 ATR 42.