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NCAA Suspends First Nation Airline’s Operations over Illegal Activities

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of First Nation Airways indefinitely over “unauthorised and illegal operations”.

NCAA Spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, said in a statement that the suspension was conveyed to the airline via a letter with reference No. NCAA/DG/CSLA/RM/1-06/18/2304 and dated May 11, 2018 and signed by the Agency’s Director General, Capt. Muhtar Usman.

He said the letter had been delivered to First Nation Airways and the airline had acknowledged receipt.

Adurogboye said:”The suspension is sequel to the flagrant and continuous violation of the terms and conditions of issuance of it AOC by the airline thereby carrying out unauthorised and illegal operations.

“The letter revealed that when the AOC of First Nation Airways expired, the airline did not have at least two airworthy aircraft capable of servicing its approved schedule as required by Part 9.1.1.6(b)(2) (ii) of Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (Nig.CARS) 2015.

“Consequently, the airline’s Air Operators Certificate (AOC) was, upon renewal, restricted to non-scheduled operation, (Charter) only.”

According to him, the airline however embarked on scheduled operations with continuous advertisement of its services and sold tickets at its Check-in counters in Lagos and Abuja Airports.

He said that NCAA had earlier notified the airline that it was investigating these violations.

“Subsequently, by a letter dated August 31, 2017, the airline was directed to stop the illegal operations forthwith, warning that failure to desist would lead to a suspension of its operating authorisation.

“On further investigation, it was discovered that the airline had disregarded all warnings and continued with the unauthorised and illegal operations in violation of its AOC terms and conditions of issuance.”

He said the action contravene the provisions of Part 9.1.1.4(d) of the Nig.CARS 2015.

He said the provisions of the Nig.CARS 2015 provide that “Each AOC holder shall at all times, continue in compliance with the AOC terms and conditions of issuance and maintenance requirements to hold that certificate.”

Adurogboye said that NCAA had therefore determined that, pursuant to Section 35(2),(3) (a) (ii) and (4) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006, FirstNation Airways was no longer fit to operate air transport business under the authority of the AOC.

He said:”Accordingly, the airline’s AOC has been suspended indefinitely, with effect from May 11. when it received the notice.

“In addition, the operators of the airline are expected to return the AOC to the NCAA’s Director of Operations and Training within seven days of receiving the letter.”

Adurogboye, however said that if the airline demonstrates ability and willingness to comply with the extant regulations, NCAA would review its operations and restore its AOC to enable it commence operations again.

He reiterated NCAA’s zero tolerance for violations of the Nig.CARS, adding that it would continue to enforce compliance through application of appropriate sanctions for any infractions.

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FG Names New National Carrier ‘Nigeria Air’

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The Federal Government has unveiled the name and logo for the national carrier that would be launched at the end of this year.

The name; ‘Nigeria Air’ was unveiled by the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika at the Farnborough Airshow in the United Kingdom on Wednesday.

The event had in attendance, stakeholders, aircraft manufacturers, prospective investors and Nigerian government delegation including the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari.

Others who were in attendance include; Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation Senator Adamu Aliero, and Chairperson, House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.

According to a statement by the Deputy Director, Media and Public Affairs of the ministry, James Odaudu, the government came up with the name after it engaged over 400,000 people on social media.

Speaking after the unveiling, Sirika, said: “I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country: Nigeria Air.

“We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.  We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year.

“I want to personally thank our Transaction Advisers, led by AMG, and the special Task Force, who have worked diligently to achieve the results so far and overcome the challenges involved.

“We obtained the Certificate of Compliance from the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) two weeks ago and can now go into the investor search. I am confident that we will have a well-run national flag carrier, a global player, compliant to international safety standards, one which has the customer at its heart.

“We hope to establish an airline that communicates the essence of our beautiful country, an airline we can all be proud of”, he said.

On how it came up with thr name and livery for the carrier, the minister said: “Following extensive market research, the branding of our new airline, Nigeria Air, demonstrates a true flag carrier of our nation, soaring through the skies in the shape of our nation’s eagle.”

“The branding and naming of the new national carrier comes on the back of a social media campaign undertaken under the auspices of The Ministry of Transportation (Aviation) which invited Nigerian youth and students for their input and creativity to come up with a name for the new Nigerian flag carrier.

“The Facebook page and websitenameyourairlinenigeria engaged over 400,000 people up until the deadline for submissions, which was on 25th June 2018.

“In addition, detailed and extensive market research was commissioned by the Ministry of Transportation (Aviation), which involved focus groups across Nigeria and over 100 interviews with aviation stakeholders and professionals, politicians, Nigerian business owners, students and a broad spectrum of people across Nigeria.”

He said the research concluded that Nigeria is a proud nation with diverse populace, a strong cultural heritage and a people that are hungry for a unifying national flag carrier.

Sirika also said that the Nigerian Government will support the launch of the new flag carrier with viability gap funding, in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to deliver a national flag carrier, guided by the international ICAO standards that will stand the IOSA audit from the start, and lead to a fast IATA membership for international operation.

He assured Nigerians and the international community that government had learnt a lot of lessons from the experience of the defunct Nigeria Airways, and now determined not to repeat the mistakes that led to its demise.

This, he said, informed the decision to take the Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach.

The Minister also explained that the unveiling of the airline at the Farnborough International Airshow was cognisant of the fact that being the largest congregation of global aviation industry players, the event affords the best opportunity to market the airline to prospective investors and register it in the minds of all stakeholders ahead of its formal launch billed to take place in Abuja before the end of the year.

He also the Ministry was also currently running an aviation road map that includes airport concessions, Aerotropolis, an aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Center, agro allied terminals, the National Carrier and an aircraft leasing company.

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Jumia Travel ‘Salebrates’ Anniversary with Juicy Hotel & Flight Offerings to Customers

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As part of Jumia Travel celebration to mark its 6th anniversary currently on going between Jul 16 and Jul 29, the travel agency says it has juicy hotels and flights offers for its teeming customers across the country.

 

The travel agency which has over 25,000 hotels on its platform has democratized travel for Nigerians by offering the best available rates for flights and hotels.

 

Omolara Adagunodo, Managing Director, Jumia Travel, Commenting on the anniversary offers  said: “This 6th anniversary is unique for us because we have made painstaking efforts in partnership with our hotel and flight associates to bring the best deals and rates to our customers. Customers will get up to 67% off their hotel booking.”

 

Giving more details on the available offers, Adagunodo said that hotels on the platform have been grouped into four categories including gold deal, silver deal, bronze deal and mystery hotels adding that “each of the categories comes with amazing discounts.”

 

While urging Nigerians to visit Jumia Travel to book their favourite hotels and flights, Adagunodo reaffirmed the travel agency’s commitment to the development of the Nigeria travel industry.

 

She said: “One of our key contributions to the industry is the publication of the Nigeria Hospitality Report which was recently launched.

 

This yearly report has become a reference document for stakeholders and students and of course, we don’t intend to stop.”

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Arik Air, Police Pledge Enhanced Cooperation to Boost Aviation Security

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(L-R) – Arik Air’s Chief Pilot, Captain Abdullahi Mahmud; Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Airport Command, Danjuma Ibrahim; Arik Air Senior Vice President Operations, Captain Adetokunbo Adekunbi; Commissioner of Police, Airport Command, Bolaji Fafowora and Arik Air Chief Finance Officer, Ayodeji Ilesanmi durin the visit of the new AIG to Arik Air head office in Ikeja, Lagos.

The management of Arik Air has pledged to enhance its cooperation with the Nigerian Police in a bid to further boost security at the nation’s airports.

The airline said information sharing was necessary in order to curb criminal acts in the sector, stressing that without the collaboration of all security agencies, it would be difficult for the government to achieve security of lives and equipment in the industry.

Captain Adetokunbo Adekunbi, Senior Vice President Operations, Arik Air, stated this on Monday when the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Airport Police Command, Mr Danjuma Ibrahim paid the airline a courtesy visit at its headquarters at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

Adekunbi who represented the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the airline, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu said the airline had always taken security as a top-notch since its establishment and pledged to continue with the tradition.

He assured the AIG that the airline would continue to cooperate with the airport command and would not hesitate to share security information when the need arises.

Earlier, AIG Ibrahim lauded the management of the airline for its continuous collaboration with the command.

He noted that the report he received when he assumed office indicated that the airline had over the years supported the command and appealed to the management to continue with the collaboration.

Ibrahim also recalled that the Airport Command was previously headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police and later to Commissioner of Police before the current improvement to Assistant Inspector General of Police.

He explained that his primary responsibility at the airport was to improve on the existing security network, a task he promised to fulfil.

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