Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has revealed that the long awaited Nigeria Air plane is expected in Nigeria on Friday, less than five days to the winding down of the Buhari-led administration.
Speaking on Channels TV, Sirika said that the aircraft will be unveiled in Nigeria’s colours, adding that the implementation of the aviation roadmap has been achieved 100 percent.
He said: “On the question of Nigeria Air, on Friday in two days, Nigeria Air plane will land in Nigeria as part of the processes to commence operation. We will on that day unveil this aircraft, the livery and everything in Nigeria’s colours, belong to Nigeria Air and we will proceed to go and do the retrofit and bring back those airplanes.
However, it is not clear whether the airline would be cleared to commence operations or demonstration flights as part of the requirement to secure the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) amidst disquiet within the industry over alleged move by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to waive some requirements to enable the take-off of the airline.
Also, the order of perpetual injunction issued against the airline in the suit filed by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), is yet to be set aside even as the substantive motion challenging the shareholding structure is yet to be heard.
Additionally, despite receiving the Air Transport License (ATL), a prerequisite for obtaining an Air Operator Certificate (AOC), the airline still has a long way to go before meeting the stringent standards of the AOC, especially the stipulation of 50-hour demonstration flights for any intending carrier.