The only Nigerian air carrier on the European route, Med-View Airline, has clarified the European Union’s operational restriction of the airline, which was thought to have affected its Lagos-London (Gatwick) operations.
A statement by its Executive Director, Business Development and Commercials, Isiaq Na’Allah, said its flights to London were in no way impacted by the EU ban.
The airline in the statement said that it has been operating with the wet-leased aircraft to the United Kingdom despite the reported ban.
Mr. Na’Allah explained that the ban falls under an exception rule in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Annex A, which states: “An air carrier listed in Annex A could be permitted to exercise traffic rights by using the wet-leased aircraft of an air carrier, which is not subject to an operating ban.”
The airline, it was gathered, has resorted to using its Boeing 747 aircraft with a European registration mark, rather than its B767 aircraft with a Nigerian registration mark, which would have ensured the barring of the airline from European airspace.
The airline, however, regretted the anxiety the information may have caused its passengers and assured them that there was no basis for alarm, as the Lagos-London flight remains unaffected.
Mr. Na’Allah insisted that the airline’s management is committed to safety and is currently working with the EASA and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to restore normalcy.
He explained that the airline, on Wednesday, May 17, operated its normal scheduled flight to London amidst the misinformation about the restriction.
“It will be recalled that in March 2016, Med-View Airline passed through one of the most stringent operations audits of the global airlines’ body – the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – after which it was issued with an International Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).
“The airline has secured a B777 aircraft leased from an EU-member state to boost its international operations, which will soon join the fleet,” the statement added.