Aircraft was Chartered from Ethiopia - Nigeria Air MD
Home News Aircraft was Chartered from Ethiopia – Nigeria Air MD
News - June 8, 2023

Aircraft was Chartered from Ethiopia – Nigeria Air MD

Dayo Olumide, the Managing Director of Nigeria Air, has revealed that the aircraft that arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on May 26, 2023, was a chartered plane originating from Ethiopia.

During a session with senators on Monday, Olumide openly shared this information, stating that the aircraft had been launched in 2018. He further clarified that his specific responsibility was to obtain the operating certificate for the airline.

Olumide’s confession on the aircraft

Olumide said, “It is a pleasure to be here and to finally make our position known where I can clarify all the misconceptions regarding Nigeria Air as it pertains to the technical aspects of it.

He said the airline was initiated with its logo back in 2018 known to a lot of people and developments have occurred since then that are unrelated to my role. 

Also, he was summoned last February, and his task was specifically to obtain an air operating certificate for the airline, not necessarily to operate the airline itself, but to secure the license for flight operations. That’s his sole responsibility.

Senator Olujimi, Chairman of the Committee on Aviation, expressed the committee’s discontent by stating that they found the entire arrangement of Nigeria Air to be veiled in suspicion.

In response to Olujimi’s inquiry, Olumide clarified that the aircraft that arrived in the country on that day did not require a licence, which is why it was hired.

He said, “I would 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. 

He said that to accomplish that, you do not need to possess a license. You simply charter an aircraft, one that you have paid for, and it will be brought here. You board your passengers and take off.

He added that that is precisely what they did. However, in this instance, it was a revealing moment. Since 2018, all you have witnessed regarding Nigeria Aircraft were images and illustrations, not the actual aircraft. We believed it was time to showcase what the real aircraft would look like and also inform our shareholders.

Continuing, Olumide said they have institutional investors who are not familiar with the aviation industry but have invested their funds for a period of 10 or 15 years, with the possibility of exiting at a premium. It is crucial for them to witness the actual appearance of the aircraft.

Which is why they brought it, to provide them with a glimpse of what the aircraft will look like. However, the situation took an unexpected turn with the involvement of social media.

What a license entails in getting an aircraft

Explaining further, Olumide said the aircraft is registered in Ethiopia. And, it is registered in Ethiopia because In order to operate an aircraft in Nigeria, it must be registered in Nigeria. However, on November 5th, that specific aircraft was not registered in Nigeria because it was a chartered flight with only a few days of clearance before its arrival and departure.”

He said “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.”

Olumide went on to explain how a licence can be obtained. He said “There are five steps that one goes through to have a licence. We have gone from the first one to the second one but the problem is that when you change what we call post holders.

He said that a post holder is a technical term referring to the director of maintenance or chief pilot. When there are changes in these positions, requiring complete replacement, it becomes necessary to conduct interviews from the beginning to ensure compliance with the civil authority. However, reverting back to phase one does not imply any wrongdoing; it is a correct and standard procedure.”

“So when this aircraft came on a chartered flight, everybody said we have launched Nigeria Air. There are learned people in the aviation industry who could have countered that when social media came out, they chose not to,” he added.

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