A Glimpse at the Strange World of African Aviation

I was emailing with someone about aviation in Africa, and that prompted me to take a look at a few African airline websites. I know they do things differently over there, but there are some things that just make me shake my head.

ADC and Sosoliso, both Nigerian airlines, had terrible accidents a couple years back. The Nigerian government tried to take charge in the industry, and many airlines, including both ADC and Sosoliso, were forced to shut down last year. Though the airlines are gone, their websites continue to exist. In the case of Sosoliso, it appears to be so that they can still try to make a buck off of you.

When you head to Sosoliso’s website, it actually looks somewhat professional. Sosoliso Airplane from WebsiteOk, maybe the broken tail on the homepage isn’t exactly professional, and it’s probably not appropriate either since it’s right next to the press release stating, “Natural Disaster Cause of Sosoliso Crash.”

Yes, that’s right. It was heavy rain that caused the accident. What, no blame to place on the pilots for flying into it or on air traffic control for not directing them around it? I guess not. But then again, that’s African aviation. They don’t have nearly the same tools available that airlines in other parts of the world have, but still . . . .

And here’s where things get ridiculous. Click on the reservations tab and it actually takes you to a sleezy page with Google links on it. Yeah, the airline doesn’t fly but it’s apparently still trying to make money by getting people to click. Nice work, Sosoliso. Glad to see you’re not flying anymore.

On the other hand, we have ADC’s website. I’m not quite sure why it still exists, because it hasn’t changed in years. I can’t imagine it’s worth paying the domain registration fee. Really, all it has is the text of a press release from October 29, 2006. It says:

The Management and staff of ADC Airlines commiserate with families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate air accident involving its B737 aircraft from Abuja to Sokoto.We pray that God in His infinite mercies will grant the families and indeed all Nigerians the grace to overcome the grief.



Then it says, right next to it, “In the meantime, all flights are suspended.”

Presumably as soon as God grants the families “the grace to overcome that grief,” then ADC will start flying again? The rest of the website is like a museum with the 2006 schedules and details of the Unicorn Club. I suppose this website is more sad than anything else.

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