Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika, says Nigeria is about crossing the last of the five hurdles requires for the national air carrier, Nigeria Air, to commence commercial operations.
He spoke on Wednesday while answering journalists’ questions on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
Asked when Nigeria Air flying would begin flying, Sirika said: “Nigeria Air will soon start flying, we’ve got the aircraft ready, they’re painted in the colours. We’ve crossed all the Ts and dot the Is.
“We’re at stage five of the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) issuance by Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Once that is done, the airline will begin to fly.“
On how soon that can happen, the Minister said he can’t readily tell for now “because the issuance of the AOC is in the hands of NCAA, but I know it will be very soon, with an emphasis on soon. So as soon as we get the AOC, then we fly.”
Asked if the court case by other airline operators against Nigeria Air has no bearing on it, he said: “There’s no injunction against Nigeria Air’s operation, to my knowledge.
“The grievances by some airlines, for example United, Azman, Max Air, Air Peace, if you are referring to that case that they instituted, I have no comment about it.
“I thought you were talking about something different, but if it’s that case, you have asked me before on this platform and I told you that it’s subjudice, it’s in court, so I can’t talk about it.”
Meanwhile, Sirika got an approval for the airport maintenance and technical support for Mallam Amino Kano Airport for the sum of N712 million.
“The contract was awarded to CCECC and it is for the airport maintenance and technical support at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano and for a period of 12 months and the sum of the contract is N721,266,733.64 and the memorandum was approved”, he added.