Nigeria’s national carrier, Nigeria Air, the Airline Operators of Nigeria has revealed that the carrier may not be able to commence operations as planned due to the lack of a valid Airline Operator’s Certificate (AOC).
The spokesman of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, Prof Obiora Okonkwo, conveyed the organization’s concerns, stating that Nigeria Air would be operating without a valid AOC if it were to start operations in October 2023.
The Air Operator’s Certificate, a regulatory requirement for airlines, is a document that outlines an airline’s operational specifications, safety protocols, and compliance with aviation regulations.
Without this certificate, airlines are not authorized to conduct flight operations.
The CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mesfin Tasew, recently expressed optimism about Nigeria Air’s upcoming launch in an interview with Bloomberg TV, indicating that the national carrier would begin operations by October.
However, these statements seem to contrast with the revelations from the Airline Operators of Nigeria.
Nigeria Air has faced a tumultuous journey since its inception, marred by controversy and setbacks.
HOR Exposes Fraud in Nigeria Air
During the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari, the carrier faced various challenges that hindered its progress.
In June, Factsreporter Nigeria disclosed that the House of Representatives (HOR) unveiled what it deemed a deceitful scheme associated with the proposed inauguration of Nigeria Air.
The initiative, which started towards the end of the previous administration, came under intense examination after key stakeholders, including Ethiopian Airlines, disavowed any involvement in the proposed launch.
Led by Chairman Nnolim Nnaji, the House Committee on Aviation unequivocally stated that the entire Nigeria Air launch appeared to be a planned fraud.
After conducting a series of investigations, the committee uncovered inconsistencies that casted serious doubt on the credibility of the project.
Prof Obiora Okonkwo, who not only represents the Airline Operators of Nigeria but also serves as the chairman of United Nigeria Airline, emphasized the importance of adhering to legal procedures and court orders.
He emphasized that any action taken in contradiction to the existing court order would constitute a violation of the law.
Okonkwo expressed confidence that the court would take the necessary steps to address the matter, highlighting the ongoing legal intricacies surrounding the national carrier.