Air Operator’s Certificate: Domestic Airline Operators Hit NCAA, Nigeria Air With Court Restraining Order

Nigeria Air Set To Fly Despite Court Battle With Domestic Airline Operators

4 mins read

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said Nigeria Air, the national carrier, will commence operation before 29 May 2023 despite an ongoing court battle with domestic airline operators over ownership structure.

Prime Business Africa previously reported that Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government and the Minister of Aviation in order to stop their partnership with Ethiopian Airlines in the establishment of Nigeria Air. 

AON is against Ethiopian Airlines owning a stake in Nigeria Air, as the domestic operators believe the partnership will give the foreign airline an undue advantage against Nigerian-owned airlines in the domestic market. 

zenith ad 1

Note that Nigeria Air was projected to begin operation in December 2022, however, the lawsuit initiated by the domestic operators led to a delay. 

Providing an update on Thursday, 24 March 2023, Sirika said the national carrier is 98 per cent completed, and in the next two months, Nigeria Air will take off. 

READ ALSO  Ethiopian Airlines Suspends Pilots Over Sleeping on Duty

“All of the roadmap items except, perhaps the airline which in my opinion is at 98 per cent completion, and we will fly within these remaining two months by the grace of God. 

“We will also finish the concessions. So, all those things we said we would do when we came in, we did them,” the minister said, adding, “Before the end of this administration, before May 29th, we will fly.” 

Speaking about the partnership with Ethiopian Airlines, Sirika said the Ethiopian national carrier wasn’t his choice, as he had hoped for Lufthansa. 

He also said that the domestic airline in court sees Ethiopian Airlines as a competition, hence, their decision to go against the partnership. 

“When we were setting up Nigeria Air limited, my gut feeling is to partner with airlines that I think will add value, with financial experience and high profile such as Emirate, Qatar, Lufthansa, and the rest of them. 

READ ALSO  PoS Operators Ejected From Residential Areas In Abuja, Excluded From CBN’s Swap Project

“Those who worked closely with me know that this is my forecast and what I wanted because I believe if you partner with Lufthansa for example, automatically you will have license to fly. 

“I thought we would do that, and I made attempts to reach them and invite them, as I did with all airline owners in Nigeria, except Overland. 

“I reached out to them personally to come and partner to create a strong airline but fast forward, we had a bidder, Ethiopian airline. 

“I was very happy that we got them (Ethiopian) to come. It was not my choice but I am happy now knowing what I know. 

“They are a household name, strong, and they have been in business for 70 years unbroken and they have over 200 aircraft. 

“So, I am very glad we are partnering with them and it is a reality. 

READ ALSO  Beacon Power Services, closes $2.7M seed round to improve electricity access for cities across Sub-Saharan Africa

“Some airlines are in court and their grouse is that it can be any airline in the world but not Ethiopian because, in their own way, they think Ethiopian is a competitor,” Sirika said.

Support Investigative Journalism and Mentorship

Courageous Journalism of Truth,Transparency and Development is in the DNA of Prime Business Africa; By donating as little as N1000 or $1 today, you are helping to keep credible journalism and life-changing information free for all.

+ posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.