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African Aviation Regional issues that affect the numerous pilots who work in this area of the world.


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Old 18th Dec 2012, 20:00   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: HKG
Posts: 10
Max Air Nigeria

Max Air is an Umrah/Hajj airline that operates 1 x B744 and 4 x B743. They've had a reasonably good reputation for the quality of their planes and for paying on time, but those days seem to be gone now. Almost everyone on contract this season (except those that came from the Euro staffing firm) departed Nigeria being owed salary and/or expenses and/or per diem. The amounts ranged from several hundred USD to over 10k USD!

Max Air seems to be following the standard pattern in their segment of the industry - More and more people on the payroll and everyone trying to pull money out wherever/whenever they can. Unfortunately, it always seems to be aircraft maintenance and foreign contract crew unfunded at the end.

Please be very careful in any dealings with these crooks!
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 23:02   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UAE
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I fly into Kano alot and every time I see all these parked 747`s waiting for the next Hadjj mission they are stored in basically sand storm weather in the dry north with dust and harmatan but never any pito probe or port covers are in place.....i find it amazing....
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Old 16th Jan 2013, 21:08   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Crawley
Posts: 29
Max Air cheated many guys this past season! They owe me several thousand dollars.

A very senior member of management is having severe mental issues and is no longer capable of any normal interaction with anyone at Max Air. Another manager is losing his battle with alcoholism and is barely functional on the few days he does come to the office. There is no one remaining in management who is willing to address crew money issues.

The list of reasons to avoid Max Air is growing fast:

They no longer pay what they owe.
The condition of the fleet is deteriorating rapidly.
Nigeria is losing its battle with Boko Haram and it is no longer safe to be in the Northern part of the country.
The pay is below market average.
Dishonest, dishonorable and dysfunctional management.
Inept, ineffective and corrupt regulatory oversight.
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Old 1st Feb 2013, 14:36   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Max Air

An Indonesian Captain was asked where he had done his last PC.He told another captain flying with him that it was done in Hong Kong.But we all know that the classic simulator in Hong Kong was dismantled.

Now it goes to show that the Chief Pilot,Director of Flight operations are ignorant of this or turning a blind eye.Or does the NCAA not know these facts.The NCAA issued validations based on your last PC????The only Classic simulators still in service are in the UK ans USA.

Makes you think,doesnt it,that an accident waiting to happen.!
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Old 2nd Feb 2013, 21:39   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami
Posts: 14
The NCAA can not be bothered to investigate the near-crash of the final Max Air 743 flight out of Jeddah, so why should they care about a fake p/c?

600+ fatalities on a plane with only 550 seats would not be a problem in Nigeria, if the airline owner had really deep pockets!
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 16:04   #6 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Crawley
Posts: 29
RECRUITMENT WARNING!!

Another month.....and still no pay! Max Air recently fired the most senior Captain they had. This was due to a pay dispute, of course! It looks like Max Air may have solved all of their regulatory problems with a big pile of cash. It's back to "operations normal," so they will be looking for all new cockpit crews in the next few months.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 13:44   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Let's see what the new NCAA boss makes of the whole mess
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Old 3rd Apr 2013, 03:08   #8 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Crawley
Posts: 29
Agency Contracts

Please be warned that Max Air are trying to recruit all new flight deck crew through European staffing firms. There is a clause in the contract that says the agency does not have to pay crew salary/per diems if the customer does not pay the agency! The reason Max Air is seeking replacements for all former crew is because THEY DID NOT PAY WHAT THEY OWED LAST YEAR! You will be cheated too, regardless of whether you work directly for Max or for a contract agency. Do your homework and avoid this outfit.
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Old 12th Apr 2013, 16:48   #9 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami
Posts: 14
You will not be protected by working for an agency! When Max Air doesn't pay the agency, the agency doesn't pay the contractor......just like it says in the contract you will be asked to sign. The other thing to remember is that you will be working for Max Air in Nigeria WITHOUT a work permit. You enter on a "tourist" or "business" visa and are beholden to Max Air to extend the visa. When you end up in a pay dispute Max Air will not offer any help to get you out of the country. You will be "on your own." Max Air handles all the travel arrangements to/from Nigeria. When you have a pay dispute Max Air will not arrange travel for you to return home at the end of your contract. There were crew from last year that had to buy their own travel home. It is very difficult/expensive to travel out of Kano, since most airlines have stopped serving the city due to the increasing level of violence and insecurity.
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Old 16th Apr 2013, 21:03   #10 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: italy
Posts: 34
Sorry to change the subject a bit, but I'm relatively new to nigeria and I'm looking at getting some kind of medical cover including evacuation if needed.
What medical insurance do you have?
Thanks

Last edited by haihio; 16th Apr 2013 at 21:04.
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Old 25th Apr 2013, 21:52   #11 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Africa
Posts: 20
still curious on the details of this "near accident" by them in Jeddah... anybody?
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Old 26th Apr 2013, 06:23   #12 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Posts: 137
Max Air Nigeria

In response to medical aid and evacuation cover, go for BUPA. Google it. $200 per month. Great cover and linked to private hospitals in Abuja and Lagos
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Old 26th Apr 2013, 09:16   #13 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Posts: 142
Suggest that the alerts are relayed to IATA.
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Old 30th Apr 2013, 17:35   #14 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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I don't see that involving IATA will help in any way. There is no way to force the NCAA to do their job ethically. At the end of their token investigation of Max Air no action will be taken against the company. And maybe the NCAA inspection team will all start driving new cars soon thereafter!
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Old 6th May 2013, 15:15   #15 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Crawley
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"Let's see what the new NCAA boss makes of the whole mess" It looks as though the NCAA may not have a new boss anytime soon. It seems that politics, in the form of the Nigerian aviation "princess," are blocking the appointment of a new DG. Aviation regulation in Nigeria has become a national embarrassment. Ansaru's stated goal of kidnapping and killing foreigners in Nigeria will make it even more difficult to attract quality crewmembers for the upcoming Umrah/Hajj. Max Air was already having a very difficult time recruiting classic captains for what was on offer ($8-9k USD) and the money will be even less this season since there's a contract crew company in the middle now. Who would be foolish enough to live in a hostile environment (with no security at all) for that sort of money? I don't think the 747 command fakers will show up for that offer!
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Old 7th May 2013, 11:59   #16 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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It's a frightening picture, gear_yanker

Some even cite tribalism in the princess' appointment of officers to head aviation organizations. Is a tribalistic person the type of material we need to turn things around in Nigerian aviation?

To put things in perspective: Demuren's tenure at NCAA was saluted by Tony Tyler, IATA DG, a guy who has no room for nonsense. But locals know that even that era had its own shenanigans. What better can we expect if a Demuren wasn't perfect? Makes for sober thinking

Last edited by dash200; 7th May 2013 at 12:02.
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Old 13th May 2013, 15:07   #17 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Crawley
Posts: 29
Yes, itís scary to think about whatís going to happen in Nigerian aviation in the coming year. A weak, ineffective and corrupt regulatory authority combined with poorly managed, financially distressed airlines. Itís a recipe for disaster! Numerous pilots making fraudulent claims about their qualifications/experience have approached Max Air in years past seeking employment. There was a guy who forged his passport to make him appear to be 55 years instead of 65 years. There were a couple of guys with forged medicals. There are always many F/Os who pretend to be experienced commanders. The long-term Captains at Max Air were always the ones to prevent these frauds/fakers from getting in the door. Unfortunately, all the long-term guys are gone now due to non-payment of salary. Itís going to be a very bad year to do the Hajj from Nigeria!
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Old 15th May 2013, 15:00   #18 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami
Posts: 14
1. Nigerian President Jonathan declared emergency rule in three northern states yesterday. It is getting really ugly in parts of the country and it is not a good time for any foreigner to be in Nigeria. 2. "There was a guy who forged his passport to make him appear to be 55 years instead of 65 years. There were a couple of guys with forged medicals. There are always many F/Os who pretend to be experienced commanders." Do not forget about the large group of guys that Max Air accepts every year with fake p/c checks. Management is aware that they have fake documents, but the DFO always brings them back because they work for less money and they do not complain.
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Old 20th May 2013, 16:03   #19 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Crawley
Posts: 29
Interview Gouge

a) If a Hausa speaking Indian manager from Max Air calls you "bro" and acts like your long-lost best friend.....KEEP A TIGHT GRIP ON YOUR WALLET AND RUN! You're about to be cheated. b) If the Irish staffing firm believes so strongly that Max Air will pay everything they owe.....ASK THEM TO DROP THE CLAUSE IN YOUR CONTRACT THAT SAYS THEY DON'T HAVE TO PAY YOU IF THEIR CLIENT DOESN'T PAY THEM! Or ask to be paid in advance. That should be good for a laugh.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 16:06   #20 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami
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Phone Interview

Don't forget to ask: "What happened to all the long-term guys who were on contract last year?"
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