"It Will Not Fly": Video Shows Nigeria Air Landing at Abuja Airport, Local Airlines Not Happy, Write Buhari
- Nigeria Air's first aircraft has successfully landed at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja
- Enthusiastic Nigerians have widely shared the video of the aircraft landing at the airport on social media
- However, a group is not pleased; local airline operators are challenging Nigeria Air's operation in court
The country's national airline's first aircraft has landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, despite an ongoing court order and fierce protest by local airline operators.
A video circulating on social media captured the moment Nigeria Air's aircraft, Boeing 737-860, touched down earlier today, Friday, May 26, 2023.
The aircraft has a white background and the ‘Nigeria Air’ inscription boldly written on it.
Sirika determined to get Nigeria Air running before May 29
Legit.ng had earlier reported that Hadi Sirika, the minister of Aviation, promised that Nigeria Air would commence operation before the swearing-in ceremony of the new administration.
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“Operation of local and international flights will commence soon. Before the end of this administration, before May 29, we will fly."
However, aviation expert and analyst Captain Ado Sanusi reacting to the minister's comments, noted that Nigeria Air will not fly or commence operation before Monday, May 29.
Speaking on Channels TV, he explained:
"The aircraft's arrival does not indicate an immediate commencement of commercial operations prior to the change of administration.
" While bringing the plane to the country is one aspect, launching the airline and obtaining the required approvals from the NCAA is a separate matter.
"Obtaining an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) is a crucial and essential step, which involves conducting demonstration flights. Although the Director General of the NCAA has the authority to grant waivers, demonstration flights are vital for ensuring safe operations, and it seems unlikely that such a waiver would be given.
"Therefore, it is practically impossible for the airline to begin operations within the next two days. It is not possible."
Airline operators to sue minister
In another development, local airlines under the umbrella of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have expressed their disapproval of the intentions of Senator Hadi Sirika to launch Nigeria Air.
Leadership reports that the legal representatives of the AON have sent a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to intervene and prevent the minister from circumventing the court orders.
Furthermore, the domestic airlines have warned that they may take legal action against the minister for contempt of court if he continues his plan to launch Nigeria Air.
Air Peace others get new rival as Kano billionaire buys N4.2bn aircraft
In another report, Rano Air will soon be flying over Nigerian airspace after receiving approval from the federal government.
Group slams Hadi Sirika over appointments as minister reveals Nigeria Air ready to fly before May 29
The airline is owned by Kano-born business mogul and oil magnate Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi Rano.
Rano has spent over N4.2 billion on buying a new aircraft to kick off the airline operation.