Nigeria Gets Licence for National Air Carrier, Delays Start of Operations

The certification is coming four years after the carrier was unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in England.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Monday announced that the Nigeria Air Limited has received an Air Transport License (ATL) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Nigeria Air is the nation’s proposed national carrier which was unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in England on July 18, 2018.

The project was suspended two months after it was announced after critics raised concerns over its relevance and sustainability. The proposed airline was expected to gulp $8.8 million preliminary cost and $300 million as takeoff cost.

Nigeria’s defunct carrier, Nigeria Airways, collapsed due to corruption and poor management.

But the Nigerian government dismissed all concerns raised, saying the airline would begin operation before the end of 2018, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to establish a national airline during his 2015 electioneering campaign.

Six months ago, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved April 2022 as the commencement date for the operations of the country’s national carrier, Nigeria Air.

“Nigeria Air Limited received from Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) an Air Transport License (ATL), signaling the end of the beginning of operations of the Airline. Commencement date of domestic operations will be announced in due course,” Mr Sirika tweeted on Monday.

Nigeria Air Limited received from Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) an Air Transport License (ATL), signaling the end of the beginning of operations of the Airline. Commencement date of domestic operations will be announced in due course. 🇳🇬🤲🏽https://t.co/yDcWtUZkf6🤲🏽🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/hIvl5YsEJY

— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) June 6, 2022

Mr Sirika also revealed then that 49 per cent of the Nigeria Air project will be owned by equity partners and 46 per cent by Nigerians while the Federal Government will own five per cent of the shares.

The presentation of the ATL to the Interim Board of Nigeria Air took place at the Corporate Headquarters of the NCAA, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.

The ATL certificate signed by the director general of the NCAA, Musa Nuhu, will run for a period of five years (June 3rd, 2022 to June 2nd, 2027).

It is one of the certifications that must be acquired by airlines before they can commence operation while they await the all-important Air Operator Certificate (AOC) that will fully guarantee ‘Nigeria air’ the right to begin air services.

The new national airline is expected to provide scheduled and non-scheduled services.

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