Aero Contractors, the troubled local Nigeria airline which was widely expected to return to the skies on Thursday, has yet to do so.
Our correspondent who visited the operational bases of the airline at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2) and the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), at the same airport, found that although the counter staff of the airline were at their duty posts, the airline was not selling tickets to interested travelers or flying anywhere.
A source close to the airline told our correspondent that the management was awaiting some papers and approvals from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) before flight operations can recommence.
Confirming that situation, NCAA spokesman Sam Adurogboye stressed that before the airline can fly again, it must obtain the approval of the regulatory agency, and that the agency needed to recertify the airline before it can resume operations.
In addition, Adurogboye said, NCAA’s inspectors would still check the aircraft to be used for flight operations to ensure they are airworthy, and maintenance base also certified for operations.
“We are still on it,” he said. “When we are through, they would be released for operations.”
It would be recalled that Aero had in a statement yesterday assured the travelling public that it would resume flight operations today.
The airline had suspended flight operations on August 31 after a series of crises in the airline.
The statement hinted that the airline decided to suspend flight operations because of a strategic business realignment to reposition it and make it profitable again.
The statement specifically explained that the airline would re-launch scheduled services to Lagos, Abuja, Warri and Port Harcourt, using its Boeing 737-400/500 and the Dash8-Q400, with the expectation that as more aircraft return to service, more routes will be reopened.
It is unclear why Aero management made yesterday’s announcement when it had yet to fulfill the industry’s regulatory requirements.