The Kano-based Kabo Airline was once a leading figure in the northern Nigeria aviation industry with its top-notch service delivery in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Kabo airliner was founded in February 1980 by Alhaji Muhammadu Adamu Dankabo, a Kano-based businessman. However, it commenced operations in April 1981, starting its first fleets with Boeings OO-TEN and OO-TEO.
In 2002, the company rose to stardom, focusing on Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage services to Saudi Arabia.
At the peak of its fame, according to Arewa Business Hub, the airline operated 47 aircraft in total. This include, three Boeing 737-200 (1983–1986), 11 Boeing 747-100 (1993–2003), and nine Boeing 747-200 (1982–2008) amongst others.
Kabo Airline, alongside its major competitor IRS Airlines, dominated the northern aviation industry, according to findings.
The airline later received approval for international scheduled services to Rome, Nairobi, Dubai, and Jeddah. This was after it experienced some mishaps.
Between 1986-1991, two of its planes were written off due to accidents. “Another plane was damaged due to a fire on the right wing, in 1992,” Arewa Business Hub tweeted. “In 2013, an Air Air Boeing 747-200 Hajj charter on behalf of Biman Bangladesh Airlines was refused permission to land in Saudi Arabia. This was because the aircraft at age 21 had violated the maximum 20 years limit set by the Saudi Government.”
However, in the years of its operations, Kabo air would experience difficulties that gradually led to its downfall.
The re-capitalization requirements set by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in 2007 affected Kabo Air as it was unable to settle its over N149 million taxes.
By 2019, the airline was sealed by Nigerian authorities. It was labelled as non-active and suspended with expired Air Operator’s Certificates, marking the end of an era of the once giant Kabo.