Uncertainty Surrounds Azman Air’s Future, As Firm Fails To Raise Funds For Aircraft

Revealed: How N1.2 billion Debt, Repayment Disagreement Led To Azman Air’s Suspension

3 mins read

The Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, has revealed that Azman Air shutdown operation due to debt and the company’s inability to renew Air Transport Licence (ATL). 

Prime Business Africa had reported that Azman Air suspended its passenger operation on Thursday, informing its workers to stay home. The airline joined Dana Air and Aero Contractors to suspend operation. 

Although Aero Contractor had temporarily shut down its passenger flight business due to the impact of challenging operating environment on its daily operations and most of the aircrafts are currently undergoing maintenance. 

In a statement by Nuhu on Thursday, he said Azman Air owes N1.2 billion Ticket Sales Charge (TSC), reason the company’s Air Transport Licence (ATL) was suspended. 

It was gathered that Azman Air’s Air Transport Licence had expired since April 2021, and the company had also failed to submit security clearance for the renewal of the ATL. 

Azman Air is required to pay 5% of Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) and Cargo Sales Charge (CSC) grossed from air travellers to NCAA and other aviation regulators. 

The fee is a major revenue generating source for Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, which receives 58% of the total 5% of Ticket Sales Charge and Cargo Sales Charge. 

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Nuhu said Azman Air “was recalcitrant in paying back the sum despite collecting it from the passengers” after several attempts to recover the N1.2 billion debt through series of meetings. 

Both parties disagreed on the monthly repayment, with Azman Air offering to pay N10 million, but NCAA requesting for N50 million till the company completes the repayment. 

“We didn’t suspend Azman Air’s Airline Operator certificate, but suspended their ATL, which had earlier expired. The ATL earlier expired in April 2021, but we gave the airline extension because of the disruption to aviation activities by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This was what we did for other airlines, too. However, we wrote a reminder letter to the airline six months to the new expiring date, which is statutory. 

“Later, the airline requested for another extension of 90 days, but we only granted it 60 days. 

“At the expiration of the 60 days, we also gave it 30 days reminder, which elapsed on Wednesday night, yet nothing was done by the airline.” 

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The statement added that, “They later came up to N20 million, but we insisted on N50 million monthly. “If we had agreed to the N10 million monthly, it means it will take them about 12 years to repay back the money it had already collected and by then, the money would have lost.”

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