Determined to unveil the National carrier, Nigeria Air, before the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari ends on May 29, 2023, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has disclosed that a Nigeria Air plane would arrive Nigeria on Friday.
This is just as the Minister insisted that the implementation of the aviation roadmap has been achieved 100 percent.
Amidst the increasing doubt over the feasibility of the National carrier in the life of the Buhari administration, Sirika assured that the project would take off before Monday.
He spoke in an interview with Channels Television monitored by our correspondent.
He said, “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 airplanes.”
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Our correspondent gathered last night that the plane already painted in Nigeria Air colour might arrive from Ethiopian Airlines for a proposed test-flight.
It is not clear 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 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.
The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation through its Chairman, Nnolim Nnaji, had 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.
Daily Trust reports that while the airline has been issued the Air Transport License (ATL) which is a prelude to acquire 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. (Daily Trust)