Nigeria Air, the much-talked-about national carrier, is finally getting an Air Transport Licence (ATL). This is four years after the Federal Government (FG) unveiled the brand at the Farnborough Air Show in London.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) would today (Monday, June 6, 20220, present the licence to the interim management of Nigeria Air, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Punch reports that impeccable sources at the Federal Ministry of Aviation disclosed that the issuance of an ATL to the carrier was to ensure that the airline commences operations in a couple of months.
“The NCAA will on Monday, June 2022 present the Air Transport License to the interim management of the Nigeria Air, Nigeria’s national carrier,” a senior official at the ministry, who pleaded not to be named due to lack of authorisation, stated. “The ATL will be presented at the NCAA corporate headquarters at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.”
BizWatch Nigeria recalls that in July 2018, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, unveiled the branding and livery for Nigeria Air in London and stated that the airline would be inaugurated at the end of that year. But this did not happen.
Since then, there have been several efforts to get the proposed new airline running, as interim management was created recently to drive the process for the entire establishment of the carrier.
What the Nigeria Air intended licence entails
- An Air Transport Licence is issued as authorisation to airlines to provide scheduled and non-scheduled services.
- It is one of the licences received by airlines before they can commence operation, just as they await the all-important Air Operator Certificate that fully guarantees them the right to begin air services.
Meanwhile, the President of the Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN), Kingsley Nwokoma, had called for transparency in flouting the Nigeria Air project.
He similarly raised concerns about whether investors’ interests have been secured for the financing and running of the project.
“The minister has been on this for a while, and it looks like one of the key projects he wants to achieve before leaving office. This has taken a long time.
“But for me, it is important that we have investors in place because, of course, it is not the government that is to fully run the airline. We’ve been told that Nigerians will also have the opportunity to invest.
“However, we are not hearing much on that (investment) part of the story, we are not seeing the process. Well, perhaps the government may assume that if it gets the licences out, that may spur investors. So, let’s see how it works.”