One of Nigeria’s airlines, First Nation Airline has postponed resumption of its flight operations, earlier scheduled for Thursday.
The airline had on August 17 suspended operations to enable the aircraft in its fleet undergo engine maintenance.
According to reports, the airline may resume operations on September 17 immediately after maintenance is carried out on the aircraft.
The airline’s Director of Flight Operations, Capt. Chimara Imediegwu, had on September 6 told newsmen that a team of engineers were coming to Nigeria to service the planes.
Imediegwu had challenged the claims that the airline was on the verge of folding up, insisting that it voluntarily grounded the aircraft at enormous cost to await the arrival of the manufacturer’s team.
The Delta State Police Command has assured residents of adequate security as they celebrate the Eid El Kabir.
The police said security has been beefed up not just for the purpose of the Sallah celebrations, but also for the last four months of the year known as the “ember months”.
The assurance was given by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Zanna Ibrahim, during an interview with Channels Television in Asaba, the Delta State capital in Southsouth Nigeria.
The police assertion comes as the people of the state say the Sallah celebrations would to go on, even in the face of the harsh economic situation in Nigeria.
However, a visit to a livestock market in Asaba by Channels Television crew clearly shows that sales are very poor and nothing to write home about, even as individuals lament the high cost of livestock and food stuff generally.
A dealer at the popular livestock market said that the weakness of the Naira against the Dollar has affected the price of livestock.
Meanwhile, the Asaba Airport appeared to be very scanty in operations, which was a fall out of the announcement of one of its major carriers, Aero contractors, saying it has shut down operations in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has dismissed claims that some airlines are winding down their operations.
The regulatory agency insists these airlines are merely suspending their operations temporarily.
According to the agency, Aero Contractors at the moment has only one serviceable aircraft which is in contradiction to the Nigerian Civil Aviation regulations, which stipulates that no airline operator shall carry out scheduled commercial operation with only one aircraft.
In the case of First Nation, the regulator says the airline is in the middle of an engine replacement programme for one of its aircraft.
The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has dissolved the Board of Aero Contractors and appointed a Manager over the affairs of the airline.
The decision on Friday, according to AMCOM was in furtherance of the statutory responsibility of acquiring Eligible Bank Assets and putting them to economic use in a profitable manner.
AMCON is both the majority shareholder and creditor of Aero.
An Industry-based management team will be put in place to provide the highest level of professional competence which would ensure a quick repositioning of the company.
AMCON said its management decided to make changes in the Management of the airline to protect the brand heritage of the airline.
It also maintained that its intervention was in the public interest to sustain and improve the quality of service which Aero was delivering.
The company further assured regulatory authorities, the traveling public and key stakeholders that “the airline would continue to operate on the solid foundation of safety and security with excellent customer service”.
AMCON has also engaged a reputable accounting firm to undertake a forensic audit of the airline’s accounts over the last five years.
A Kano bound passenger on Aero Contractors Flight No.NG 141(5N-BPR) scheduled to depart 6.30hrs has been arrested for raising a false alarm on board the aircraft.
The spokesperson for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Fan Ndubuoke, said that the passenger started shouting when all the passengers were already seated in the plane and the aircraft was about to push back.
While shouting, he headed to the exit door, opened it and jumped out of the aircraft.
He claimed there was fire in the Cabin and this caused pandemonium on board which resulted in all other passengers scampering for safety.
The Airline in line with Standard and Recommended Practices immediately de-boarded all passengers.
On investigation, it was discovered that the passenger was erroneously referring to a smoke emitting from the ground power unit that was in use at that time.
To assure the passengers of their safety, Aero Contractors provided another aircraft to operate the scheduled flight whilst nothing was wrong with initial one deployed.
The erring passenger was promptly handed over to Aviation Security officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and he has been detained.
The NCAA had in the past warned air travellers to refrain from raising false alarm on board aircraft.
The Regulatory Authority further assured all air travellers that the “regime of safe and secure airline operation is still subsisting”.
There will be zero tolerance for those who violates any of our regulations,” the NCAA stated.
The Senate has asked the management of Aero Contractors to withdraw the dismissal letters issued to members of staff of the airline.
The Senate Committee on Aviation gave the directive at a meeting with the management of Aero and the unions in the aviation sector to intervene in the on-going industrial dispute in the airline.
The management of Aero Contractors on March the 13th dismissed 650 workers, a move that prompted an industrial action by the workers.
The industrial action has since crippled the services of the private airline.
At the meeting, the managing director of Aero Contractors, Mr. Obaru Ibru explained that the airline had recalled three hundred of the dismissed staff, but the chairman of the committee on aviation maintained that the workers should not have been dismissed in the first place.