Biafran Government Aviation Unit

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Biafran Government Aviation Unit
English Title:
Biafran Government Aviation Unit
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

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.

Key Dates

July 1967    First aircraft obtained
July 1967    Biafran Government Aviation Unit created
13 Jan 1970    Biafra surrenders

Current Status

The Biafran Government Aviation Unit was disbanded in January 1970.

Future Plans

Not applicable.


Special Markings

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.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

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.


Main Headquarters

Biafran Government Aviation was initially centred at Enugu.

Organisational Structure

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

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The main air base was Enugu, but Port Harcourt, Orlu and Uli were also used.

More Information


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.


wikipedia: Biafra – Military

Biafra 1966

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