FirstNation Airways has said that the airline would seek reconsideration of the suspension of its operations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The regulatory agency had issued an official statement at the weekend signed by the general manager, Public Affairs, Sam Adurogboye, announcing the indefinite suspension of the airline’s Airline Operators Certificate(AOC).
But in a statement, made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, the spokesman for FirstNation, Rasheed Yusuf said the reasons for the suspension were not safety related but apparently commercial. Yusuf added that the national interest had not been served by this development.
The airline while giving clarifications with respect to Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s (NCAA) decision said, “We are reluctant to join issues, in the media with NCAA, as we believe that Regulation through media sensationalism will ultimately not serve the industry well. Except to reiterate that we respect regulations and have immediately complied with NCAA’s directive.
“It is also a matter of fact, that we presented two airworthy aircraft, to the Authority as far back as September 2017. It is therefore apparent that the context of our operation vis a vis compliance with the extant regulations and Government’s policy have been misconstrued.
“Be that as it may, we will seek reconsideration and review of the suspension, in the light of facts that will be made available to the Authorities. And will cooperate with NCAA in good faith, to address all concerns and the alleged infractions to reach resolution.
“It is pertinent to add that the allegations are NOT safety related and that our operation achieved above industry dispatch reliability of over 95 per cent and reputed for on time performance and schedule integrity. The operating aircraft and crew hold the relevant, safety critical approvals and authorisations.
“The basis of NCAA’s decision is therefore apparently commercial. And in an Industry facing worsening Aircraft capacity constraints, the Authority should be forward looking and working with industry to facilitate policies that will endear industry growth, so as not to further limit and compromise passengers’ choice options across all segments. The national interest has not been served by this development.”
Assuring its possible return to operations, Yusuff further said, “We remain committed to the highest level of safety standard in line with industry best practice. FirstNation is currently working assiduously on fleet expansion and confident that we will grow our fleet this year, 2018.”
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