BusinessDay checks have shown that some of the airlines which may have been involved in the recent sanctions by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) are Medview Airlines, Police Airwing, and Skybird.
A source in NCAA yesterday disclosed to BusinessDay that the above operators were sanctioned for various degrees of violations; however Medview denied being sanctioned by the authority.
Obuke Oyibotha, Medview’s media consultant told BusinessDay that the airline was not among those sanctioned and if the airline was sanctioned, it will not be operating.
However, the source insisted that Police Airwing was fined for failure to train their maintenance personnel and Medview was fined for not carrying out maintenance according to the required maintenance programme.
Skybird operator which was involved in deliberate violation of the Regulations had its Air Operator Certificate [AOC] suspended for 180 days.
Recall that NCAA earlier this week said it has sanctioned four erring operators for various degrees of violations, all of which were scheduled and non-scheduled operators.
However the authority’s refusal to disclose the identity of the airlines sanctioned had made stakeholders lose confidence in the authority, saying it was lax in its duties to expose erring operators.
John Ojikutu, member of aviation industry think tank group, Aviation Round Table (ART) and chief executive of Centurion Securities, told BusinessDay that not releasing the names of the four airlines is not only a cover up, but a way of bringing the whole sector of the Nigerian air transportation to disrepute and ridicule in global assessment. In particular, it discredits the enforcement and oversight capacity of the NCAA over the airlines, according to Ojikutu.
“Why would the NCAA release such critical information to the public and expect the public to have confidence in its safety oversight? What is the secrecy in the names of the erring airlines that makes their violations of the regulations different from the violations of others like the cases involving Medview and First nation early in the year?
“In the case of First nation, NCAA had released statement to the effect that the airline had made one of its pilots to carry out two operational flights even when his medical license has expired. The airline and the pilot were separately fined and the sanctions were released on the media; so what makes the one of the four airlines separate or why the cover up? NCAA should come out boldly to defend this act that could put its credibility to enforce regulations to question,” Ojikutu queried.
Meanwhile BusinessDay has also gathered that Green Airways is not yet on the list of prospective operators seeking Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) as reported late last year. Sam Adurogboye, general manager, Public Affairs, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), told BusinessDay that from the AOC status listed by NCAA in its books, Green Airways is not part of them.
“You don’t have to have an AOC to buy planes. Some people can buy planes to be leasing out. AOCs are for people that want to go into operations. From the list, the airline currently being assessed for AOC is ‘Great Eagle Airways.’ It is possible that the company plans on becoming a leasing company to Nigerian airlines,”Adurogboye further disclosed.
Nigeria’s Green Africa Airways was reported to be committed to order up to 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, from U.S based Boeing Company, a deal which will cost up to $11.7 billion and shake up Nigeria’s struggling airline industry.
The deal is the largest aircraft agreement from Africa, and will be reflected on Boeing’s orders and deliveries website, once finalized Boeing said on 21st of December, 2018,
Green Airways announced in June, 2018 that it completed its Series A round of financing with private Equity firm Kuramo Capital, a Pan African investment firm based in New York.
The new airline said then that it had received an Air Transport License (ATL) from the Nigerian Government and commenced its Air Operating Certificate (AOC) process, it said then. Babawande Afolabi is the Founder and CEO of Green Airways Africa, which is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria.
Afolabi said the Nigerian end of the deal was a strong sign of growing African entrepreneurial dynamism and resilience.
Boeing saw that deal as a step towards construction of a “solid” Pan-African network, Afolabi said, adding that the Africa aviation sector has “exceptional” potential. Since launching the 737 MAX Boeing said it has received more than 4,800 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide.