At last, the National carrier — Nigeria Air — will fly into the country’s airspace on Friday, May 26 for operational takeoff, outgoing Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has said.
The aircraft which will be unveiled in Nigeria’s colors, will arrive in Abuja, about four days to the end of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Nigerians have expressed pessimism about the feasibility of the National carrier and if “Nigeria Air” will ever fly.
Sirika said on Channels TV program monitored by Persecondnews that the aircraft will be unveiled in Nigeria’s colors of green-white-green.
“On the question of Nigeria Air, on Friday in two days, Nigeria Airplane will land in Nigeria as part of the processes to commence operation.
“We will on that day unveil this aircraft, the livery and everything in Nigeria’s colors, belong to Nigeria Air and we will proceed to go and do the retrofit and bring back those airplanes,” the minister said.
Following disquiet in the aviation industry over an alleged move by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to waive some requirements for Nigeria Air to enable its take-off, it is not certain if the airline would be cleared to commence operations or demonstration flights as part of the requirement to secure the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).
Persecondnews recalls that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) had secured an order of perpetual injunction against Nigeria Air in the suit it filed.
However, the substantive motion challenging the shareholders’ structure has yet to be heard by the court.
Despite Nigeria Air’s receipt of the Air Transport License (ATL), a prerequisite for obtaining an Air Operator Certificate (AOC), the airline still has to meet the stringent standards of the AOC, especially the mandatory 50-hour demonstration flights for any intending carrier.