The acting Managing Director of Nigeria Air, Dayo Olumide, has disclosed that the airplane that landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on 26th May 2023, was chartered from Ethiopia.
Recall a few weeks ago, an aircraft bearing the logo of Nigeria Air was sighted in Abuja.
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.
While responding to a question from Senator Olujimi, Chairman of the Committee on Aviation, Olumide said the aircraft, causing the conversation did not require a licence, as it was hired.
He said, “I will like to address your question first before I go on. 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.”
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