The Federal Government announced on Wednesday that the National carrier, Nigeria Air, would arrive in the country on Friday, May 26, 2023.
Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced this yesterday while speaking on the Channel Television programme, Naija News reports.
Sirika said that President Muhammadu Buhari‘s administration was committed and determined to the course and insisted that the implementation of the aviation roadmap has been achieved 100 per cent.
Sirika allayed doubt over the feasibility of the National carrier in the life of the Buhari administration, assuring that the project would take off before Monday.
“On the question of Nigeria Air, on Friday in two days, Nigeria Air plane 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 colours, belong to Nigeria Air, and we will proceed to go and do the retrofit and bring back those aeroplanes,” the Aviation Minister said on the TV programme.
Speculations in some quarters are that the said plane had already been painted in Nigeria Air colour and might arrive from Ethiopian Airlines for a proposed test flight.
It is not clear, however, whether the airline would be cleared to commence operations or demonstration flights as part of the requirement to secure the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) amidst disquiet within the industry over an alleged move by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to waive some requirements to enable the take-off of the airline.
Also, the order of perpetual injunction issued against the airline in the suit filed by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), is yet to be set aside even as the substantive motion challenging the shareholding structure is yet to be heard.
Earlier, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, through its Chairman, Nnolim Nnaji, cautioned Sirika against subverting the authority of the NCAA in its push to get the airline flying before May 29, advising him to leave the matter to the incoming government.
While the airline has been issued the Air Transport License (ATL), which is a prelude to acquiring AOC, the airline still has a long way to go in fulfilling the rigorous requirements of AOC, especially the stipulation of 50-hour demonstration flights for any intending carrier.