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HomeTop NewsFinally, Nigeria Air aircraft landed in Abuja despite court order

Finally, Nigeria Air aircraft landed in Abuja despite court order

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By Samuel Bankole 

A Nigeria Air aircraft arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Friday as promised by the minister of Aviation, Hardi Sirika.

The minister had stated in an interview with a TV station that the Nigeria airplane will fly before President Mohammadu Buhari’s tenure ends.

The plane landed in the country in defiance of the court case instituted by the Airline Operators Of Nigeria (AON).

The Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, stated that an aircraft in Nigeria Air colours is on its way to Nigeria in less than 24 hours.

In an interview with Channels Television, the minister said that a Nigeria Air aircraft will land in the country in two days as part of the process to commence operations and unveil the delivery process.

He promised that the aircraft would be unveiled in Nigeria’s colors in fulfillment of all the promises made by the administration in the aviation sector.

Sirika had said at an aviation stakeholder forum in Abuja in March that Nigeria Air would commence full operations before the end of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Responding to a question on when exactly Nigeria Air will commence operations, the minister said, “Before the end of this administration, before May 29th, we will fly.”

However, industry experts and stakeholders are questioning the rationale behind the launch of a national carrier with barely 72 hours until the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

They also wondered how the aircraft could fly into the country without getting an Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA.

In February, the Board Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines, the technical partner of the proposed Nigeria Air, Girma Wake said the carrier and other partners are ready to commence operations with Nigeria Air as soon as court cases against the take-off of the proposed Nigeria carrier are resolved.

Last year, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos granted an order of interim injunction restraining Nigeria Air Limited, Ethiopian Airlines, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami from executing the proposed or draft “NATIONAL CARRIER ESTABLISHMENT AND AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA and Ethiopian Airlines.

The judge, Ambrose Lewis -Allagoa granted the order while ruling on an exparte application brought by the Registered Trustees Of The Airline Operators Of Nigeria (AON), Azman Air Services Ltd, Air Peace Nigeria Ltd, Max Air Ltd, United Nigeria Airlines Company Ltd and TopBrass Aviation Ltd all of whom are listed as plaintiffs in a suit they filed against the defendants.

The order restrained the defendants as represented by the Minister of Aviation and the AGF and the strategic equity partner, as represented by Ethiopian Airlines from giving effect to and or suspending the sale and transfer of the shared and operations of Nigeria Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines pending the determination of the motion on notice.

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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