The President of the Association of Aircraft Owners of Nigeria (AAON), Dr Alex Nwuba, said the ongoing court case instituted against the Nigeria Air project by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) is not intended to stop the airline from taking off.
Instead, he said the lawsuit is only trying to ensure that the necessary restructuring takes place.
Speaking to Nairmatetrics in Lagos on Thursday, Nwuba explained that Nigeria Air would not be able to showcase the potential of Nigeria in its current form, as structured by the Federal Government.
AON’s main contention: According to him, AON and stakeholders only wanted the Federal Government to redefine the process. He also reiterated that is interested in seeing the national carrier take off in 2023.
He expressed optimism that despite the current challenge, the new national carrier would operate within the year. He said:
“The litigation is not meant to stop the national carrier but to force a redefinition of what is a Nigerian carrier. Everybody has said we don’t want a national carrier that is owned by another government – Ethiopian Airlines Nigeria or something like that.
“The national carrier should take off in the new year, hopefully in a structure that the industry would prefer and not in the current trajectory. Everybody genuinely wants us to have Nigeria Air that is reflective of Nigeria and our potential and I think this court case forces us to return to the table to do the right thing, rather than to stop the project.”
Nigerian aviation in 2023: Nwuba emphasised that 2023 would be a turning point for the country’s aviation industry.
He noted that already, some private investors are investing heavily in the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in the country, saying that this would help to reduce capital flight and give succour to the operating airlines in the country.
He mentioned 7Star Hangar and Ibom MRO as two of the facilities that would change the face of equipment maintenance in the country in 2023.
“We would see some MRO facilities, 7Star Hangar has completed heavy checks on MD 93 aircraft and we hope they will continue to expand their capability.
“Hopefully, we would see more positive legislation and it would increase greater independence for the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), a new role for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), continuing development in the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA),” he said.
Business News | Stock Market | Money Market | Cryptos | Financial Literacy | SME |