Minister Sirika Insist: Nigeria Airways Will Fly Soon

Numerous Nigerians have criticised the Muhammadu Buhari administration for seeking to start a new national carrier after the former national carrier, Nigeria Airways, collapsed largely due to corruption.

Nigeria’s aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, Wednesday claimed the controversial national carrier, Nigerian Airways, will soon commence operations.

Mr Sirika, who briefed correspondents after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council, said the regulatory approval to get the national carrier flying is at the final stage.

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Nigeria Airways will soon start flying, we ’ve got the aircrafts ready, they’re painted in the colours. We’ve crossed all the Ts and dotted the Is. We’re at stage five of the AOC allotment by NCAA. Once that’s done, the airline will begin to fly, Mr Sirika said.

So there are five stages, we’ve done stages 1,2,3,4 and we’re now at stage five, once the AOC is given, the aircraft is ready to start to fly.

When the minister was asked to be specific on the timeline, he claimed it would be ‘ soon.

Well, because the allotment of the AOC is in the hands of NCAA, but I know it’ll be very soon, with an emphasis on soon. So as soon as we get the AOC, moreover we fly, he said.

The government, which has only about three months in office, has, howbeit, said the new carrier would only be partly government owned and would be managed by a private partner.

Howbeit, some local airlines in Nigeria have sued the federal government, asking the court to stop the new national carrier as it would get nasty advantages over other airlines.

The case is still in court.

On Wednesday Mr Sirika said he wasn’t mindful of any court injunction barring the kickoff of Nigeria Air and so it would commence operations soon.

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