By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, has said only operational airlines with valid Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) will be able to access Federal Government’s palliatives for indigenous carriers.
Nuhu, who spoke in his Lagos office during a Zoom meeting, explained that the government’s palliatives would take different forms at single digit loan to be paid for many years.
The NCAA helmsman said the umbrella body of indigenous carriers, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), would not err in putting forward a defunct airline for the benefits.
He said: “Any airline can apply – whether functioning or not – but it is a policy that participating airlines must be functioning and with Air Operators Certificate. I also believe that the AON has its own set of rules and they know the criteria. I believe the AON will not put forward a non-functioning airline.”
On the economic viability of Nigerian airlines, Nuhu said: “The financial health of airlines is not limited to Nigerian airlines; it is a global issue, especially due to the impact of COVID-19. We have seen airlines that have got millions of dollars in subsidies from their governments, and they still have issues. Many airlines have sacked workers: BA, Emirates, Lufthansa sacked workers and are withdrawing some aircraft. It is a global thing. But government is working on the palliative.”