Air Nigeria (Lagos) on April 21 was temporarily grounded by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) due to safety concerns, except for its London (Gatwick) service.
The airline issued the following statement:
“Air Nigeria wishes to inform that the scheduled Lagos – London – Lagos flight operation is not affected by the temporary suspension directive of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Passengers are therefore encouraged to proceed with their confirmed itinerary while intending customers can make their reservations through all our sales channels.
We however wish to apologize for all the inconvenience that the temporary suspension of our domestic and regional flights by the NCAA will bring on our passengers.
Air Nigeria is committed to offering safe and secure flight operations at all times as just recently it was given a clean bill of health by the regulatory agency after a safety audit of its operations. We will continue to liaise with the relevant agencies to ensure that the suspension order is lifted as soon as possible.”
Due to safety concerns raised by the safety audit, the airline subsequently issued this statement:
“Air Nigeria affirms that ever since the inception of its flight operations, it operates in strict compliance with safety regulations and has at no time compromised on standards as it has consistently submitted to internationally recognised audit exercises. Air Nigeria is the first Nigerian airline and the only carrier in West Africa to pass three consecutive IATA Operational Safety Audit program (IOSA) in the last five years.
The IOSA audit program employs internationally recognized quality audit principles and the consecutive successes recorded by Air Nigeria in the last five years have clearly showed a demonstration of commitment to safety standards by engaging internationally accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of airline are at par with other global airlines.
With an established track record of offering safe and secure means of transport in the last seven years without any accident, Air Nigeria affirms of its continuous compliance with all laid down operational and maintenance regulations of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Air Nigeria was just recently given a clean bill of health after a successful safety audit of its fleet of aircraft and flight operations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and has at no time found deficient in the discharge of offering safe air services to passengers.
The airline presently runs a Safety Management System (SMS) under the guidance of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and it is the only Nigerian airline and one of the few airlines in Africa currently implementing this system. Under this SMS scheme, pilots and engineers perform their day-to-day professionally responsibilities in line with prescribed standards without management interference.
Sensational reports and claims that are being circulated in the media that allege management’s interference to force pilots and engineers to operate “unserviceable aircraft” are fabricated propagandas by those groups that felt ‘threatened’ by the successful turn-around of Air Nigeria over the last two years, which recently culminated with the successful launch of long haul operations.
It is very sad that those “threatened groups” tried to exploit the recent unfortunate air crash to blackmail and sabotage Air Nigeria which has unquestionable world class safety standards for the last seven years.
In the face of all the daunting challenges, we at Air Nigeria, have kept faith and our creed is to continually offer safe and secure services at all times. The airline is cooperating with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ensure that the issues relating to the temporary suspension of the domestic and regional flight operations are resolved to ensure that passengers continue to enjoy the services of the airline.
The scheduled Lagos – London – Lagos flight operation is not affected by the temporary suspension directive of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and passengers are therefore encouraged to proceed with their confirmed itinerary while intending customers can make their reservations through all our sales channels.
Air Nigeria is one of the fastest growing airlines in West Africa that has since inception distinguished itself and won several laurels in recognition of its outstanding contributions towards development of the Nigerian aviation industry. The airline was in 2010 named the “Airline of the Year” at the Nigeria Aviation Awards (NIGAV) while it also clinched the “Best Security Conscious Airline in West and Central Africa” for its strict adherence to prescribed aviation safety standards.”
The airline was reacting to local media reports that it fired 12 engineers and pilots with connections to the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).
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Copyright Photo: Malcolm Nason.