The Chairman of Chanchangi Airlines, Alhaji Amadu Chanchangi, is dead. According to a family source who confirmed this to Premium Times, the Taraba-born, Kaduna-based billionaire died Wednesday morning along Kaduna-Abuja road while on the way to a hospital in Abuja.
“He died along the road while we were rushing him to a hospital in Abuja, after a protractive illness,” the source said.
He is believed to be survived by three wives and about 33 children, among whom is Rufai Chanchangi, a member of the House of representative.
Another source who confirmed the news said he will be buried by 2 p.m. today (Wednesday) according to Islamic right at the Bashama road cemetery.
Among early sympathisers at the Chachangi home was Bala Ibn Na’Allah, the deputy Senate leader, and Mohammed Ali, a former member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
Chanchangi airline was established in January 1994 by Alhaji Amadu Chanchangi and started flight operations to and from Kaduna, Lagos, Owerri, Abuja and Port Harcourt on 2 May 1997.
Services were operated using Boeing 727-200 aircraft, 3 Boeing 737-200 aircraft and 2 Boeing 737-300 aircraft were also acquired in 2009. Chanchangi Airlines won the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Corporate Merit Award for “Best Domestic Airline of the Year” for 1998, 1999 and 2000.
It obtained route authorities for services to Abidjan, Accra, Dakar, Douala and Malabo in In 2004. Its Lagos to Accra route was introduced in March 2006.
The Nigerian government set a deadline of April 30, 2007, for all airlines operating in the country to re-capitalise or be grounded, in an effort to ensure better services and safety. The airline satisfied the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)’s criteria in terms of re-capitalization and was re-registered for operation.
However, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) grounded Chanchangi Airlines on July 5, 2010, citing a regulation that no airline can operate with only one aircraft in service, which was the case with Chanchangi at the time of its closure.
In 2012, Chanchangi Airlines, failed to appear to defend itself against charges filed against it by Ethiopian Airlines failing to settle a 14 million Br bill for maintenance services and this gave rise to its plane has been grounded at Bole International Airport where some analysts have predicted failure to make payment will lead Ethiopian Airlines to auction the aircraft.