Five months after suspending its operation over financial crisis, Aero Contractor, is set to relaunch commercial flight operations on Monday, December 5th, 2022.
LEADERSHIP reports that on July 18, the management of Aero Contractor, had suspended flight operations following the impact of the challenging environment on its daily operations.
Aero said most of its aircraft were undergoing maintenance, resulting in inability to offer efficient service to customers.
However, in a chat with journalists, the director general, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, said the airline has been cleared to begin commercial operation, saying, as far as the authority is concerned, the airline can resume flight service.
Nuhu, explained further that the airline was not grounded based on safety issues, but over minor financial crisis.
He said: “Aero Contractors was not grounded based on safety issues, we did an audit on them because whatever audit you do, you have findings and they were all minor findings. There were no Level 1, 2, 3 findings. They were very insignificant. We notified them. We audited them and we found out that the issue they had was finance sustainability.
“Aviation is safety sensitive and whenever you have financial difficulty, it is just a matter of time, you will not be able to comply with all the regulatory requirements and some may start cutting corners. So, before financial issue becomes safety issue, we had a discussion with them and they on their own before we took any action, agreed with our findings and suspended their operations to enable them reorganise and get some funding to get more equipment.
“That is what they have done, we sat with them, they submitted, we asked for projection, which they did, we reviewed. The first one wasn’t good enough, they had to go and review it and it was quite satisfactory. We had MoU with them for payment of outstanding 5 per cent on Ticket Sales Charge (TSC). So, they are fine. As far as we are concerned, they can resume operations,” he stated.
The NCAA helmsman, however, stated that while lots of airlines globally couldn’t survive the COVID-19 pandemic, those that survived are still battling with its impact.
According to him, the authority is doing everything to ensure continuous safety in the air, as well as, compliance with all regulations and recommended practices by the airlines.
To hm, “we are doing our best to ensure that there is continuous safety in the air and we ensure compliance with all our regulations and recommended practices. We work together with the industry to see how we can assist, help the industry, but the truth of the matter is that the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic did not only put the airlines in a difficult situation, but exposed a lot of fractions within the system. A lot of airlines didn’t globally survive the Covid-19 and some are still being affected from the impact of Covid-19.
“When we thought we were recovering, then we had issues of foreign exchange, Jet A1 crisis, which further put the industry in a very difficult situation. They are trying under difficult circumstances and that increase our workload to continue the surveillance to ensure that safety margins are adhered to and we are getting there.”