A340 Operator Azman Air Suspends Operations Amid Safety Audit

Azman Air has suspended its entire operations. The airline cited a safety audit from regulators for its decision to suspend all flights. The carrier has further said that it hopes to restore operations within a short period of time.

Azman Air, Airbus A340, Flight Suspension
Azman Air has suspended its entire flight operation due to a safety audit. Photo: Azman Air via Facebook

Azman Airlines is a Nigerian airline with a predominately short-haul fleet. However, lately, the airline has made headlines taking delivery of an ex-Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340 to expand its operations. Earlier this year, the airline even commented that it was seeking a second A340 to allow it to launch scheduled services to Dubai. However, it seems the airline has hit a roadblock.

All operations suspended

Azman Air revealed earlier today through its social media channels that it had suspended its entire operations. According to the airline, this was,

“Due to our Strong Stance on Safety, Azman Air will be undergoing a Comprehensive Audit of its Internal Safety Processes as supervised by the Regulators.”

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It’s unclear exactly what prompted the flight grounding. However, the airline is currently in the process of getting permission to fly its Airbus A340 beyond Africa. As part of this, the aircraft is undergoing local flights that are supervised by regulators.

Azman Air, Airbus A340, Flight Suspension
Last week Azman Air’s Airbus A340 was undergoing certification activities. Photo: RadarBox.com

According to Azman Air, and backed up by data from RadarBox.com, the most recent of these took place just six days ago. It’s unclear if the two are linked. However, recent posts from Azman Air suggest that it was getting ready to announce the launch of A340 services in the coming days, not a total flight suspension.

A look at Azman’s A340 plans

Azman Air currently has a single Airbus A340, registered as 5N-AAM. As previously mentioned, the aircraft was initially delivered to Virgin Atlantic back in August 2006. After 13 years in service with the airline, Virgin retired its entire fleet.

Azman Air took the A340 after a reconfiguration stop in Bournemouth. The cabin was refitted with an all-economy layout of 411 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration, except for two lone business class seats at the very front of the aircraft. Pervious reader suggestions remarked that these two lone seats could be used to facilitate crew rest on longer flights.

Azman Air, Airbus A340, Business Class
Azman Air’s Airbus A340 has a peculiar business class cabin. Photo: Azman Air via Twitter

As it looks to begin international A340 operations, the airline has been undergoing a series of certification-related tasks. This has included a trip to the United Arab Emirates where the aircraft underwent a comprehensive check.

Back in January, Azman Air gave us a hint of their Airbus A340 plans. The airline is initially planning to launch A340 services from Kano in Nigeria to Dubai, Jeddah, and China. These operations would be accompanied by the acquisition of a second aircraft.

What do you make of Azman Air’s flight suspension? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!