Airline Operators of Nigeria have stated that Nigeria Air, the country’s proposed national carrier, may not commence operations any time soon because it does not have an Airline Operator’s Certificate.
The spokesman of Airline Operators of Nigeria, Prof Obiora Okonkwo, told The Punch in Abuja on Monday, that if Nigeria Air were to begin operations in October 2023, it would be doing so without a valid Air Operator Certificate.
Okonkwo said, “The AOC is still on stage one. I don’t want to waste my time on that thing anymore. If they are starting in October, they are going to be operating without AOC.”
Meanwhile, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mesfin Tasew, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, on Friday, revealed that the new national carrier, Nigerian Air, would begin operations by October.
He added that the firm was eager to see Nigeria Air start flying local and international routes.
Recall that Nigeria Air had been embroiled in a lot of controversies, especially in the twilight of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
It could not progress to phase two of the AOC process in June 2023, according to a letter from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
Speaking further, Okonkwo, who is also the chairman of United Nigeria Airline, added that any action contradicting the court order would be a clear violation of the law.
He expressed a belief that the court would take the necessary step to address the matter.
“The court order is still sub-exiting, so anything against that is a total violation; surely the court would do the needful.
“We have made our position on Nigeria Air known. We don’t have any more time to waste. The industry is facing a more serious challenge now, which is our priority,” he stressed.