‘Don’t grant landing rights to airlines from countries maltreating local carriers’



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‘Don’t grant landing rights to airlines from countries maltreating local carriers’

Kelvin Osa Okunbor



The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation chaired by Hon. Nnolim Nnaji has warned that on no account should a United Kingdom based Titan Airways be granted approval to fly into the country for evacuation flight if Nigerian Airline is refused landing rights for similar flight by the United Kingdom Authorities.

The committee arrived at this decision at the end of the investigative hearing Friday on the use of foreign airlines to evacuate stranded Nigerians out of the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America by Emirates Airline, British Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.



The House had on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 in adopting a motion sponsored by nine members on the matter mandated the committee to investigate why the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 engaged the foreign airlines for the evacuation flights at expense of indigenous airline e operators.

The House had equally on the account of the motion urged President Mohammed Buhari to direct the Ministries of Aviation and Foreign Affairs, Ministerial Departments, (MDAs) and Presidential Taskforce to ensure that Nigerian Airlines enjoy the right of first refusal in any future evacuation flights.

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The committee also directed the Ministry of Aviation and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) to deny approval to any airline from Canada unless Canadian Authority gives a Nigerian operator approval for evacuation of stranded Nigerians in Canada.

The Ministry of Aviation and its relevant agencies were also mandated to report Canada to the Intranational Civil Aviation Organization, (ICAO) for denying a Nigerian Airline landing rights for the evacuation of stranded Nigerian citizens in that country.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirik and his Foreign Affairs counterpart Godfrey Onyeama who were in attendance at the investigative hearing were however spared the angers of the committee by the presentation made on behalf of the indigenous airlines by the Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema to the effect that they both tried to protect their interests but blamed the frustrations the airlines were going through on what he described as international aero politics.

He singled the Aviation Minister Senator Sirika for his unprecedented supports to the indigenous airline operators since he assumed office as the Minister of Aviation adding that the aproval for importation of aircraft which used to take months before his tenure to obtain now takes less than forty-eight hours to get approved.

The chairman of the committee Honourable Nnaji had in his opening remarks expressed the house’s displeasure over the engagement of the foreign airlines in the earlier evacuations which according to him undermined the integrity of Nigeria as a leading economy in Africa.

‘Don’t grant landing rights to airlines from countries maltreating local carriers’

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