•Nigeria Air cannot start operations by May 29 — Aero Contractors CEO
By Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja
A flight belonging to Nigeria Air has touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika confirmed the arrival in a tweet on his official handle.
We are here. To Almighty God be all the glory. It has been a very long, tedious, daunting and difficult path. We thank everyone for the support. This, by the will of God, will be for us and generations to come. Ya Allah make it beneficial for our country and humanity.
“We are here. To Almighty God be all the glory. It has been a very long, tedious, daunting, and difficult path. We thank everyone for the support,” he wrote alongside a video of the airplane.
“This, by the will of God, will be for us and generations to come. Ya Allah make it beneficial for our country and humanity.”
The development is part of plans to commence operations and unveiling of the delivery process after years of delays.
In March, Sirika had said the airline will start operations before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“Before the end of this administration, before May 29th, we will fly,” he said.
According to him, the Federal Government is leaving the aviation sector better than it met it having achieved over 90% of the aviation sector road map.
However,There have been controversies involved in the project, which is currently being challenged by domestic airlines.
In an interview on Friday, Chief Executive of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, said the arrival of the aircraft did not translate into commencement of commercial operation by the airline.
He made his position known while featuring on Channels TV Sunrise Daily.
Sanusi, who bared his mind on the issue during the interview said it is one thing for the aircraft to arrive the country and it is another for the airline to commence commercial operation.
According to him, it is practically impossible for the airline to start commercial passenger operation in two days time given the rigorous process involved which he believes would not be waived by the regulatory authority, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), as the whole world is watching.
He said, “It is one thing to bring the airplane to the country, it is another thing to start the airline, getting all the necessary approvals from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
“There’s a very important and vital component of getting an AOC which is the demonstration flights. Of course there are waivers that the Director General of the NCAA has the power to give, but the demonstration flights is critical to safe operations and I do not think he would give that waiver.”