The Eastern Region of Nigeria announced its secession as the State of Biafra on 30 May 1967. Having no existing air transport, the Biafran Government was forced to obtain aircraft from abroad. These aircraft were delivered via a variety of legal and illegal means. During the civil war that erupted in July 1967, Biafran Government aircraft operated extensively, carrying equipment and personnel both within the country and importing equipment from abroad. This page covers the non-military transport aircraft used by the Biafran Government. Biafran Air Force aircraft are covered elsewhere.
In December 1969 Nigerian Federal forces launched a final offensive and Biafra surrendered in January 1970. Most airworthy aircraft fled abroad at this time.
|July 1967||First aircraft obtained|
|July 1967||Biafran Government Aviation Unit created|
|13 Jan 1970||Biafra surrenders|
The Biafran Government Aviation Unit was disbanded in January 1970.
No special markings were carried. Aircraft normally retained their previous colour scheme.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
Biafran Government aircraft retained their previous registration, or used fictional registrations from neighbouring countries, e.g. L-1049 Constellation 5N-07G.
Coding system not used.
None – Manufacturers designations used.
Current Aircraft Inventory
All-Time Aircraft Used List
Aircraft NOT Used
A variety of semi-fictional airlines and aircraft operators were involved in smuggling weapons and equipment to the Biafran forces. These unofficial operations are not included here, only the officially operated aircraft.
Aircraft Losses and Incidents
See individual aircraft histories.
Biafran Government Aviation was initially centred at Enugu.
Biafran Government Aviation was an ad-hoc entity that operated without much central organisation or structure. There were no subordinate units.
Current Order of Battle
Historical Orders of Battle
All-Time Flying Units List
Current Air Bases
All-Time Air Bases Used List
The main air base was Enugu, but Port Harcourt, Orlu and Uli were also used.
African Military Aviation by Winston A. Brent (Freeworld Publications, 1994)
African Air Forces by Winston Brent (Freeworld Publications, 1999)
Air Wars and Aircraft by Victor Flintham (Arms and Armour Press, 1989)
Shadows: Airlift and Airwar in Biafra and Nigeria 1967-1970 by Micheal I Draper (Hikoki Publications, 1999)
To be added.