First Nation Airways has released a statement in response to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)’s suspension of its regular services. The NCAA had announced its suspension of the airline for having just one plane in its fleet.
In a statement signed by a representative of the airline, Rasheed Yusuf, the carrier was undergoing a fleet management programme. “The AOC was successfully renewed for charter operation and we have contracts for sales distributions. We thus remain committed to the highest level of safety standard in line with global industry best practises. Firstnation is currently working on a fleet expansion program and we are confident that we will expand to schedule operation during the fourth quarter of 2017
The statement by the airline leaves several questions unanswered. Why did the airline wait for the NCAA to issue a statement before responding? How many airlines are currently in its fleet? A recent report by some analysts had predicted that 8 airlines would close operations in a few years. This is not the first time the airline has gone on a break, as it also stopped operations briefly last year. Arik Air and Aerocontractors had similar breaks in operations before they were taken over by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria.
NCAA was established by Decree 49 of 1999, and is the regulatory body for aviation in Nigeria. First Nation Airways was founded by Tolu Odukoya who had previously ran the defunct Bellview Airlines. Bellwview airlines was founded in 1992 and eventually shut down in 2009. Prior to First Nation’s suspension of operations, the airline flew the Lagos-Abuja and Lagos-Portharcourt routes.