Domestic airlines have thanked the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for sparing the aviation sector from the negative effects of giving an air operator certificate to Nigeria Air without following the proper procedures.
The Punch reported that on Sunday, the NCAA team, led by its Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu was commended by the association for having the courage to insist that the proper steps be taken to preserve the safety and integrity of the Nigerian aviation industry.
Recall that on Friday, the Federal Government received the first plane of the country’s flag carrier, Nigeria Air. Local airline operators objected, claiming that this was against a court order that prohibited the government from moving forward with the project.
According to the NCAA, Okonkwo verified that an airline is qualified to execute safe flight operations using the AOC, which is a safety certificate.
“As indigenous operators, we are pleased and appreciative that the NCAA spared us this sanction by defying Minister Hadi Sirika’s push to issue an AOC to Nigeria Air without following the proper procedures.”
Additionally, he noted that aviation is a vital industry that is crucial to the economic growth of Nigeria and any other country.
“As a significant investor, AON has a moral obligation to protect the country from such events. If not, our multibillion-dollar investments in Nigeria’s aviation industry would have been put in danger.”
He added that an airline must go through a demanding five-phase certification process to receive AOC certification and warned that the repercussions of giving an AOC to Nigeria Air without following the proper procedures might be devastating.
“This could consequently have an effect on the nation’s aviation sector because neither foreign airlines nor Nigerian carriers will be permitted to operate in those countries.”
He claimed: ” If the NCAA ignores the proper procedure for giving an AOC to Nigeria Air, no lessor will have confidence in the NCAA’s safety certification process.”
He continued by saying that it is clear that the public has shown a great deal of interest in the presentation of Nigeria Air and that the AON hopes to shed some light on the situation.
Okonkwo claims that the Minister disregarded this advice and oversaw the creation of Nigeria Air by, among other things, developing the logo, revealing it at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK, and giving offices.
The AON has further asserted that nefarious plans exist to destroy all domestic carriers and give Ethiopian Airlines, which already holds numerous landing rights in Nigeria.
“Upon further inquiry, we uncovered some mind-boggling harmful plans to eliminate all indigenous operators and illegally and fraudulently transfer the monopoly to Ethiopian Airlines against the economic interests of Nigeria.
“As a result, we filed a lawsuit, which was strongly supported by material evidence. For us, protecting the Nigerian government, people, and economy from exploitation as well as the country’s aviation industry and our investments is a patriotic act.”
According to him, the AON has filed a lawsuit against Ethiopian Airlines, charging that the airline willfully disobeyed a legitimate Nigerian court order and permitted itself to take part in the massive deceit of Nigerians.
“On May 26, 2023, Ethiopian Airlines made a landing in Abuja and received a water salute even though the aircraft did not belong to Nigeria Air and was not registered in Nigeria as required by Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.”
The AON emphasized that Ethiopian Airlines’ conduct betrays a disregard for Nigeria, its legal system, and its regulatory bodies. They are expecting that Nigeria Air would be established in a way that actually benefits Nigeria’s aviation business and that Ethiopia Airlines will be held accountable for their disrespectful conduct.
The AON insists that as long as the law is upheld and the interests of Nigeria and its aviation sector are safeguarded, they could care less who owns Nigeria Air.