The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Hadi Sirika has assured that aircraft for Nigeria Air will arrive the country on Friday, ahead of commencement of operations.
The minister stated this during an interview on Channels Television monitored by our correspondent.
He promised that the aircraft will be unveiled in Nigeria’s colours in fulfillment of all the promises made by the administration in the aviation sector.
Sirika noted that the only incomplete item is the aerotropolis, which is the airport city and is 60 per cent complete.
According to him, the groundwork has been completed, and are looking to conclude work on the airport city by the next administration.
Sirika had at an aviation stakeholder’s forum in Abuja in March said that Nigeria Air will commence full operations before the end of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister’s recent assurance however, comes despite a subsisting court order to maintain the status quo on the continued establishment of the proposed national carrier.
Responding to a question on when exactly Nigeria Air will commence operations, the minister had said, “Before the end of this administration, before May 29th, we will fly”.
Recall that some domestic airlines under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) had taken the Minister, Attorney General of the Federation, Nigeria Air, and Ethiopian Airlines to court to stop the airline from commencing operations.
According to a motion filed on November 10, 2022, the plaintiffs prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants either by themselves, agents, privies, principals, or any other persons whatsoever from executing the proposed draft, “National Carrier’ establishment between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the strategic equity partner (second defendant) or giving effect to or suspending the sale and transfer of the share and operations of the first defendant by the second defendant pending the determination of the motion on notice.
The Federal High court on December 9 reaffirmed its injunction order issued on November 24, 2022 pending the determination of the Motion on Notice filed by AON to stop the proposed national carrier.
The injunction read: “The Court after careful consideration of the application and submission of counsel. It is hereby ordered as follows: That an Order of Interim Injunction is granted restraining the Defendants either by themselves, agents, privies, Principals or any other persons whosoever from draft the proposed executing National Carrier Establishment and Agreement Between the Federal Government of Nigeria (represented by the 3rd and 4th Defendants) and the strategic equity partner (the 2nd Defendant) or giving effect to and or suspending the sale and transfer of the shares & operations of the 1stDefendant by the 2nd Defendant pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.
“That an Order of Maintenance of Status Quo by all parties in this suit from taking any further step (s) in relation to the subject matter of this suit pending the determination of the Motion on Notice is granted.
”That an Order of Accelerated Hearing of this suit is granted.
Also in April 2023, following moves to grant Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to Nigeria Air despite the order of interlocutory injunction restraining the issuance to the airline, the AON Counsel Burreini Jimoh (SAN) wrote the Director-General Civil Aviation (DGAA), Captain Musa Nuhu notifying him to desist from dealing with the Minister/the Federal Ministry of Aviation and/or their agents, privies or representatives, pertaining the AOC, to avoid consequences of disobedience of Court Orders.