The B747-200 freighter aircraft with registration marks EK-74798 was engaged for a charter flight from King Abdulaziz International Airport Jeddah (OEJN) Saudi Arabia, to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja (DNAA). The following history of flight was compiled from information recorded by the Flight Recorders, Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar and voice recordings, and from interviews with the crew and eyewitnesses.
On 3rd December 2013, the crew while on standby in the hotel were notified by the Saudia Operations Control Centre (OCC) Jeddah of their scheduled pick-up at 04:30 local time on 4th December 2013 for the flight. The pickup time was later changed to 10:35 local time the same day. At 01:59 local time on 4th December 2013, the crew received an email which stated:“All be advised that all wake up calls on HOLD, will advise revise timings once the aircraft depart ex SHJ.”
On 4th December, 2013 EK-74798 arrived OEJN from Sharjah International Airport (OMSJ), United Arab Emirates (UAE). On ground was a Veteran Avia crew comprising of three pilots, a load master and two aircraft engineers scheduled for the chartered cargo flight to DNAA. The flight was operated by Veteran Avia on a wet lease term to Saudi Arabian Airlines.