- Nigeria's aviation minister has finally revealed the truth about the flight diversion to Asaba
- He ordered that an investigation be carried out by the NSIB on Flight NUA0504 within ten days
- He, therefore, ordered that henceforth, wet lease planes operating in Nigeria must have local pilots
Legit.ng journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over 3-year-experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.
Minister of Aviation and AeroSpace Development Festus Keyamo has revealed the truth about the flight diversion to Asaba by United Nigeria Airlines on Sunday, November 26, 2023,
According to the minister, United Nigeria Airlines lied when it blamed "weather" as the reason its Abuja-bound passengers found themselves in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
He said this after an emergency meeting with the Heads of Aviation agencies yesterday, November 27.
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Minister gives fresh directives
The minister said:
Because of the incident that happened recently, where a flight to Abuja ended up in Asaba, NSIB must have their reports within 10 days on what really transpired.
There was no weather problem yesterday. NiMet’s DG is here. It was a question about a wet lease plane. Pilots and the cabin crew were foreigners. They were not familiar with the Nigerian terrain. So, it was purely an issue of in-house administrative issues.
He ordered an investigation by the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau NSIB on Flight NUA0504 within ten days.
Also, he directed that all wet lease planes operating in Nigeria must have a Nigerian pilot and Nigerians as their cabin crew.
This followed claims that the wet lease by United Nigeria Airlines was solely occupied by foreigners unfamiliar with the country's geography.
The pilot took off from Lagos and flew straight to Asaba, not Abuja, according to a report from the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) tower.
He also directed the NCAA to summon all the pilots and crew operating wet leases in Nigeria within 72 hours for further briefing.
Lagos-London airfares set to become cheaper as Air Peace, 2 other airlines secure essential licences
Legit.ng reported that Airfares on the Lagos-London route are expected to reduce as three Nigerian airlines are prepared to commence operation.
With the TCO, the airlines designated to the UK or some EU nations can apply to operate without much hassle.
Nigerian airlines that have announced approval for the operation include Air Peace, Omni Blu Airline, and United Nigeria Airlines.