The Federal Government has suspended the Nigeria Air project after complexities of the processes leading to the final takeoff of the airline, Daily Trust reports.
After months of uncertainty and viability of the project, FG arrived at the decision that it would be a tall dream to start the national carrier on December 20.
An aviation source revealed that though government had engaged in multiple talks with aircraft manufacturers including Boeing and Airbus, none of them gave its commitment to the project.
“The government suspended the talks because it felt going further, the December deadline is not just realistic,” the source said.
“We have only October and November, barely less than three months to the takeoff of the airline and we do not have staff, we don’t have office, we don’t have aircraft.
“I think it is just wise for the Federal Government to suspend. An airline that is supposed to start operating in December, it does not have an office, it doesn’t have a Managing Director, it doesn’t have staff, it does not have aircraft and the rest and less than three months to start.
“Even the NCAA said it would take them 90 days to give it the two most important licenses – Air Transport License (ATL) and Air Operating Certificate (AOC), I think it is difficult to implement the start-up of the airline.”
General Secretary of the Nigeria Aviation Professionals’ Association (NAPA), Comrade Rasaq Saidu said he was not surprised with the suspension, noting the project never got the approval of the President in the first place.
“We told the world that this thing is fallacy. No transparency in it. There are issues on ground to address; it is not about going to Farnborough. Where will be the headquarters of the national carrier? Nobody has told us how much they sold Nigeria Airways? Where is the money? And you have not paid the retirees of Nigeria Airways”.
While the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has strangely kept mute over the national carrier, the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Sirika however said the decision to suspend the project was neither political nor an attempt to justify the fears of the stakeholders.