'Unfit Air Nigeria Planes' Cleared for Travel--Ibrahim calls for IATA audit of domestic airlines
The Chairman of Air Nigeria, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, has urged the Federal Government to oblige domestic airline operators in Nigeria to pass through the International Air Transport Association (IATA) audit.
He gave the recommendation at a news conference in Lagos on Wednesday, adding that it would make the Nigerian airspace safer.
He advised that after the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has audited an airline’s fleet, IATA should also be allowed to check the aircraft.
“Airline business is a sensitive one, it is important we have global compliance in aviation. With this, we will be very safe to fly, particularly with this recent development," Ibrahim added.
“The age of an aircraft does not really matter, it is the maintenance that matters most. NCAA is the only authority set up by the government and if there should be any other, it should come under the NCAA.”
He said that it takes time for an aviation business to grow, adding that Air Nigeria had completed its two-year turn around. He further explained that the recent strike by the airline's pilots and engineers was uncalled for and was allegedly masterminded from outside the company.
The chairman said that the airline had paid about N428 million to the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service as tax, but refused to disclose the year the payment was meant for, while adding that the airline was not grounded but was only audited properly to commence flight after the strike.
“It is normal for NCAA to audit our aircraft because of the strike which grounded them for a while," Ibrahim said.
“Our aircraft are well regulated. If we are not safe, we will not fly. The age of our fleet is reasonable. The average age of our aircraft is nine years old.”
He disclosed that the airline would commence services on Lagos-Rome-Paris and Paris-Rome-Lagos routes next week.
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