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Nigeria lifts suspension of Emirates flight operations

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Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority Friday evening lifted the suspension order slammed on Emirates Airlines for violating COVID-19 protocols.

This is coming less than 24 hours after the NCAA had suspended the airline from operating out of Nigeria.

The decision to vacate the suspension order followed the airline’s compliance with the FG’s directive to suspend its Rapid Antigen Test (RDT) requirements for passengers.

A statement by the NCAA signed by its Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, read in part, “The public is hereby notified of the immediate lifting of the suspension placed on Emirates airlines operations in Nigeria.

“The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 was made aware of the requirement by Emirates Airlines and KLM for passengers travelling from Nigeria on their flights to Dubai and Amsterdam to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test (RDT) four (4) hours from the time of flights departure. This requirement is in addition to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test done 72 hours from the date of departure by passengers.

“The implementation of the additional requirement by the two (2) airlines was commenced without the prior notification or approval of the PTF and other regulatory bodies in Nigeria. This led to the provision of the RDT testing by organisations and laboratories that have not been approved by the PTF and other regulatory agencies for the RDT at or around our international airports in Lagos and Abuja. “The PTF upon review of the situation directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to inform the airlines to either suspend the requirement for pre-departure RDT or their flights to the country until such a time when the required infrastructure and logistics have been put in place for RDT by the government. “Emirates Airlines, however, continued their operations requiring passengers to carry out the RDT test six (6) hours from the time-of-flight departure from Nigeria. The PTF, therefore, directed the immediate suspension of Emirates Airlines operations to Nigeria effective 4th February 2021 until when the needed infrastructure and logistics are put in place for the RDT test by the Nigerian Government.

“Emirates Airlines, on 5th February 2021, informed the NCAA in writing that the UAE government has given the airline approval to suspend the pre-departure RDT requirement for passengers travelling on their flight to Dubai.

“Consequent upon the foregoing, the PTF directed the NCAA to lift the suspension placed on Emirates Airlines flights into Nigeria with effect from 5th February 2021.

“The public is hereby informed as follows: Emirates Airlines no longer requires passengers to carry out pre-departure RDT. No laboratory has been approved by the PTF and other regulatory agencies to carry out RDT for incoming or departing passengers. The PTF will inform all Nigerians of any change(s) to the above.”

Aviation

Nigeria Air to launch with Lagos-Abuja shuttle, Ethiopian Airlines emerges preferred bidder

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The Federal Government has selected Ethiopian Airlines (ET) consortium as preferred bidder for Nigeria Air, controlling 49 per cent of the national carrier.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who said this during a media briefing in Abuja, announced that the new national carrier would start flight operations with initial Lagos and Abuja shuttle.

Sirika said ET scored 89 per cent out of 100 in the technical bidding process and 15 out of 20 as regards financial bids.

He explained that the request for proposal (RFP) under the public-private partnership (PPP) Act, governed by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission(ICRC), has been completed.

“After a careful, detailed and ICRC governed selection process, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder, offering an owner consortium of 3 Nigerian investors.

“The Nigerian investors are MRS, SAHCO and the Nigerian Sovereign Fund (46%), FGN owning 5% and ET 49%. The consortium has been subject to a due diligence process.

“The contract will be negotiated between consortium and FGN, leading to a full business case (FBC) which will be expected to be approved by the federal executive council (FEC). We expect this process to take 6-8 weeks.”

The minister said the national carrier would launch with three Boeing 737-800 in a configuration very suitable for the Nigerian market.

According to him, Nigeria Air will be launched with a shuttle service between Abuja and Lagos to establish a new comfortable, reliable and affordable travel between the two major airports.

The minister added that other domestic destinations would follow later.

“The first aircraft is ready to arrive in Abuja for further work and NCAA inspection, demo flights and audit as part of the AOC requirements.

“In time, two others will arrive to complete the required three aircraft for a new AOC holder. The interim executive team has prepared with the support of FAAN.

“The team has arranged for Terminal C at the Abuja Airport and finalised a contract with MMA 2 terminal in Lagos for the operation of an initial shuttle between Lagos and Abuja,” he said.

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Azman Air resumes local, int’l flights after NCAA renews licence

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has renewal of the air transport licence (ATL) of Azman Air and lifed suspection order slammed on the airline’s flight operations.

The Director-General of the NCAA, Musa Nuhu, said this in a statement issued on Saturday.

zman Air said following the renewal of its licence for another five years, it resumed scheduled and non-scheduled flights within and outside Nigeria on Friday September 17.

The NCAA in a tweet said it renewed Azman’s licence after the airline had fulfilled all outstanding requirements.

“Consequent upon the fulfilment of all outstanding requirements, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has renewed the air transport licence (ATL) of Azman Air, enabling the Airline to resume flight operations,” the agency tweeted.

The airline said the licence would enable it to operate between 2022 and 2027.

“Good News, AzmanAir has been granted a licence to operate scheduled & non-scheduled passenger & cargo air services within and outside Nigeria for another period of 5yrs by NCAA; having satisfied the requirements as guided by World Aviation Regulations,” it tweeted.

It also said, “Operation has been restored and all flights will now operate as scheduled from Friday, September 16. All passengers should kindly take note,” the airline said.

The NCAA had, on Thursday, confirmed the suspension of Azman Air over its inability to provide the required documents for the renewal of its air transport licence (ATL).

Nuhu said one of the critical documents was the tax certificate, which the airline could not provide because it failed to remit ticket and cargo sales charges amounting to N1.2 billion to the NCAA.

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Azman Air suspends operations 

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Azman Air has suspended operation over the carrier’s inability to renew its Air Operators Certificate.

Daily Trust reports that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended Azman for failing to meet the requirements for AOC renewal.

It was also learnt that the regulatory body had given it much time to renew the AOC, but failed despite issuing the airline another 30 days ultimatum to meet the requirements.

A source in the airline however said the required money had been paid and the issue could be resolved today.

The source said the airline would provide details later in the day.

Daily Trust reports that the suspension comes a few weeks after the NCAA threatened to withdraw airlines’ licences over indebtedness to the regulatory agency.

It was learnt that the NCAA had given the airline notice to pay the required fees to renew its licenses.

According to the NCAA, airlines owe N42bn and $7.8m.

A source in the NCAA said the authority wielded the big stick when the airline failed to meet up with the financial requirement for the renewal of its licences.

It was learnt that the airline had told some of its workers that it was suspending flights today due to “operational reasons.”

A spokesperson for the airline, Mr Nura Aliyu, promised to provide details of the issue later in the day.

 

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