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We Brought In Ethiopian Aircraft To Be Unveiled As ‘Nigeria Air’ – Acting Managing Director Admits

Posted by Samuel on Wed 07th Jun, 2023 -

Information obtained by SaharaReporters from Plane Spotters, a platform which takes an inventory of aircraft, “The Registration Number is ET-APL and the Mode is S Q4005C.

 Nigeria Air

The acting Managing Director of Nigeria Air, Dayo Olumide, has made a new admission.

He admitted that the ‘Nigeria Air’ airplane that landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on 26th May 2023, was a chartered one from Ethiopia.

SaharaReporters had in May reported that the plane unveiled by former president, Muhammadu Buhari, as Nigerian Air a few days before he left office, was over 10 years old and belonged to Ethiopian Airlines.

Information obtained by SaharaReporters from Plane Spotters, a platform which takes an inventory of aircraft, “The Registration Number is ET-APL and the Mode is S Q4005C. The Serial Number: 40965/4075. The first flight was an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft. Then it became Malawi Airlines on 16th February 2014. It was then acquired again by Ethiopian Airlines in 2015 and has been operating under Ethiopian Air since then.

“Then on the 26th of May 2023, it has Nigeria Air colours without changing ownership. It was first spotted in South Africa before it flew to Nigeria today.”

On Tuesday, Nnolim Nnaji, the Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, declared the launch of the Nigeria Air a fraud after the major stakeholders in the deal between the Nigerian government and the Ethiopian Airlines denied knowledge of the launch.

Meanwhile, speaking before the Senate Committee on Aviation on Tuesday, Olumide said the plane was chartered from Ethiopian Airlines to launch the country’s official airline.

The Nigeria Air MD added that his mandate is to secure an operating licence for the airline that is still in its early stages.

He said, “I was invited last February, my mandate is to secure an air operating certificate for the airline not necessarily to operate the airline but to secure a licence to fly. And that is entirely my responsibility.”

“The aircraft that came in and left was a legitimate charter flight. Anyone of us here if we have a destination wedding in Senegal, we can charter an aircraft.

“You don’t need to have a licence to do that, you just charter an aircraft, an aircraft you paid for it, it will be brought here, take your passengers, and off you go.

“And that is what we did. But in this case, it was to unveil. Ever since 2018, all you have ever seen about Nigeria Aircraft were pictures, and drawings, not the real aircraft, and we thought it was time to show what the real aircraft will look like and also to let shareholders know.

“You see we have institutional investors, they are not in aviation, but they are putting their money for 10 or 15 years and to exit may be at the premium. So they need to see what the actual aircraft will look like.

“So we brought it in here to show them what the aircraft will look like. Then the social media dimension came into it.

“It is an Ethiopian-registered one. Why is it Ethiopian-registered? To operate aircraft in Nigeria, they must be Nigerian registered; on 5th November. That aircraft was not on 5th November registered because it was a chartered flight and it came in with just a few day’s clearance and off it went.

“For us to get that licence which is my mandate, we must among other things have three aircraft before the NCAA will give us a licence and those three aircraft must be Nigerian-registered aircraft.”

“There are five steps that one goes through to have a licence. We have gone from the first one to the second one but the problem is that when you change what we call post holders.

“Post holder is a technical term for director of maintenance, or chief pilot, when you change them and replace them completely, you have to go back to phase one to interview them to be compliant to the authority, to the civil authority. But haven gone back to phase one doesn’t mean you have done anything thing wrong. That is a correct and normal process.

“So when this aircraft came on a chartered flight, everybody said we have launched Nigeria Air.

“There are learned people in the aviation industry who could have countered that when social media came out, they chose not to.”

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