In a groundbreaking development for the Nigerian aviation industry, the prominent United Nigeria Airlines has secured the green light to embark on international flight operations.
This landmark achievement promises to usher in a new era of connectivity and global travel for the nation.
The official approval from the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development marks a significant stride for United Nigeria Airlines, solidifying its position as one of the country’s leading carriers.
The airline is set to extend its services beyond Nigerian borders, with plans to operate international flights to a roster of sought-after destinations.
In a formal letter dated September 8, 2023, and bearing the signature of Director of Air Transport Management, Mr. H.T. Ejiburu, on behalf of Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, United Nigeria Airlines was granted approval to operate international flights to the United States of America, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Mr. Ejiburu’s letter cited the existing Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and each of these countries as the foundation for this momentous decision.
In his words, “The designation of Messrs United Nigeria Airlines Company Limited is in line with the subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the governments of the six mentioned countries.”
The letter further emphasized that the airline must coordinate with the respective Civil Aviation Authorities of the designated countries for the necessary documentation before commencing scheduled flight operations.
Additionally, United Nigeria Airlines is obligated to comply with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (Nig. CARs (2023) Part 18.104.22.168 A-C), including liaising with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to fulfill any outstanding requirements.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also been notified of this approval, ensuring that the necessary diplomatic actions are taken to facilitate international operations.
United Nigeria Airlines, led by Prof. Obiora Okonkwo OFR as Chairman, commenced its domestic flight operations in 2021, providing scheduled flights within major Nigerian cities.
Notably, the airline had previously obtained approval for regional flights and is in the final stages of preparations to initiate regional operations in the coming weeks, pending the arrival of additional aircraft in mid-October.
Chairman Prof. Obiora Okonkwo expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “This is a historic moment for United Nigeria Airlines and Nigerian aviation as a whole. We are committed to providing world-class service and connectivity to our passengers, and this approval is a testament to our dedication to excellence.”
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