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REVEALED: Nigeria Air Plane Flown Into Abuja is not new, its been used and Belongs To Ethiopian Airlines

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Nigeria Air Plane To Arrive On Friday, Says Sirika
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Nigeria Air Plane Flown Into Abuja Belongs To Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopia Airlines owns the Boeing 737-800 series aircraft that the Federal Government used to fly into Abuja for the launch of Nigeria Air.

On Friday at 9:55 a.m., the aircraft took off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja at 12:43 p.m.

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Read Also: Court quashes Nigeria Air’s hope of flying

Shortly after the aircraft landed, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, expressed delight that the project had taken off after “a very long, tedious, daunting, and difficult path.”

Later, he unveiled the aircraft with the registration ET-APL at the Abuja airport’s General Aviation Terminal.

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Journalists’ investigations revealed that the aircraft is owned by Ethiopian Airlines. ET-APL is written on the wings of Ethiopian Airlines’ aircraft.

According to investigations, the aircraft flew for its original airline until Sunday. According to the flight history, the aircraft departed from Addis Ababa for Tel Aviv, Israel.

On May 21, 2023, Flightradar, a popular flight tracking website, reported that the aircraft flew between Tel Aviv and Mogadishu, Somalia.

On 20 May, it serviced both Mogadishu, Somalia and Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, while the day before it also served Beirut.

Ethiopian Airlines is the primary investor in the Nigeria Air project. Domestic airlines under the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government due to its 49% stake.

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According to the ownership structure, two Nigerian companies hold a 46% stake and the Federal Government holds a 5% stake.

Airline Operators of Nigeria member airlines Azman Air, Air Peace, Max Air, Topbrass Aviation, and United Nigeria Airlines argued that the partnership would put them out of business by opening their market to Ethiopian airlines.

The airlines demanded an award of up to N2 billion in damages for “wrongful exclusion and unlawful bidding and selection processes” in relation to the Nigeria Air project.

Although Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, had announced that the Nigerian Air aircraft would arrive in the country on Friday, he remained silent on whether or not aircraft had been purchased for the project.

However, he told journalists the previous year that the Federal Executive Council had approved the leasing of three aircraft for the airline.

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“We have stated in our outline business case, which was previously approved, that we will begin with three aircraft and then expand from there. We will have a mix of Airbus and Boeing aircraft because every major airline uses both,” he said.

“We will begin with domestic flights before expanding to international, regional, and transcontinental destinations. Our aviation industry is currently facing obstacles, but this is a global phenomenon that will not last forever because aviation is a highly resilient industry. Without a doubt, we will overcome these obstacles,” he added.

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Capt. Ado Sanusi, chief executive officer of Aero Contractors, commented on the airline project earlier on Friday, stating that the arrival of the aircraft did not signify the start of commercial operations by the airline.

During the interview, Sanusi stated that it was one thing for the aircraft to arrive in the country and another for the airline to begin commercial operations.

Also Read: Twitter ban, Nomination of dead people: 13 Controversial moments in Buhari’s eight years reign

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According to him, it is practically impossible for the airline to begin commercial passenger service within two days, given the stringent process involved, which he believes the regulatory authority, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), will not waive while the entire world is watching.

He stated, “It is one thing to bring the aircraft into the country, but it is quite another to launch the airline and obtain all of the necessary approvals from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).”

“Demonstration flights are a very important and crucial component of obtaining an AOC. Obviously, the Director General of the NCAA has the authority to grant waivers, but demonstration flights are vital to the safety of operations, so I doubt he would grant this waiver.

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Therefore, it is nearly impossible for the airline to depart within the next two days. It cannot be done. Because the demonstration flights and the five phases must be completed, the international community is observing us to determine whether we are actually adhering to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) recommended practices and procedures for the international commercial carriage of passengers.

After announcing the launch of the airline at the UK’s Farnborough Air Show in 2018, Sirika granted an interview in which he stated that the airline had also considered 81 potential destinations, including China and India.

As of the time this report was compiled, Sirika had not responded to messages regarding the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft’s findings.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Ejes Gist Media Limited. For any rights infringements or takedown requests, please contact us at [email protected].
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