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Discovery Air Suspension: NCAA Begins Operator’s Review

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The suspension of
Discovery Air by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) which took effect from January 8, 2015, would lead to a comprehensive review of the airline’s operations.
NCAA suspended the Air Operating Licence (AOL) of one of the new airlines, Discovery Air, for failing to airlift passengers who booked its flights to travel on December 25, 2014.
In a statement signed by the Deputy General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, the authority said the sanction was in line with its oversight responsibilities as stipulated by the law.
NCAA said it carried out a review of operations of some domestic airlines after which it issued letters of warning or suspension of AOLs to defaulters.
The regulatory body said in line with the law, it carried out corrective measures by disciplining airlines that committed infractions.
According to the Authority, Discovery Air was found not worthy to be allowed to continue operations for arbitrary cancellation of flights and keeping passengers stranded without cogent reasons.
Adurogboye said the suspension would be sustained until NCCA is satisfied with the airline’s pacification of the passengers who became stranded when the flight billed to take them from Abuja to Lagos on December 25, 2014 was cancelled.
He said “a case in point is an airline that failed to carry out certain corrective actions within one week from the 1st to 7th of January, 2015 as raised in an earlier letter to the operators.
“Consequent upon the inability to address the issues raised, the authority in its January 8, 2015 letter to the operator declared, the authority, pursuant to section 35 (2) and (3) (b) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 and Part 1.1.3.3.3 (a) (i) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations  (CARS), 2009, hereby suspends the Air Operator’s Certificate of Discovery Airways Limited”, NCAA said.
The regulatory body said the suspension of Discovery Air took effect from January 8, 2015, the date of the letter conveying the notice, stressing that the order would be in force pending the outcome of a comprehensive review of the airline’s operations to be carried out according to laid down rules.
The spokesman said “as much as it is not the desire of NCAA to regulate any airline out of existence, the authority however viewed any violation of safety regulations seriously”.
The Tide gathered that Discovery Air, on January 5, 2015, wrote a letter to NCAA, explaining what it had done to pacify the passengers by refunding them and paying 25 per cent of the fares for those who bought tickets from other airlines and travelled.
A source from Discovery Air, described the action as an overkill, adding that the sanction for the infraction of the regulation should not include suspension of the airline’s operating certificate.

 

Felix Okogbule

Victorious Falconets from FIFA U-20 Women World Cup arriving Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

Victorious Falconets from FIFA U-20 Women World Cup arriving Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

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COVID-19: Arik Airline Sacks 300 Staff

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At least 300 staff of Arik Air have been relieved of their appointments by the airline’s management.

This was announced in a statement by the airline on Friday.
It blamed the sacking on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The press statement was titled, “Arik Air management declares 300 staff redundant”.
The company explained that a redundancy package would be provided for the affected workers with the help of the aviation unions.
The statement read in part, “Arising from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the constrained ability of the airline to complete heavy maintenance activities and return its planes to operations, stunted revenues against increasing operational costs, the management of Arik Air (In Receivership) has declared 300 staff members redundant to its current level of operations.
“The leadership of the impacted unions has been contacted to negotiate a redundancy package for the affected staff.”
The airline added that over 50 per cent of its workforce of over 1,600 staff have been on furlough in the past six months.
In a separate statement also forwarded to our correspondent by its Public Relations and Communications Manager, Banji Ola, the airline apologised to passengers whose travel plans were disrupted by the protest carried out by the National Union of Air Transport Employees on December 3, 2020.
The picketing disrupted operations in Lagos and prevented the airline from processing passengers at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Domestic Terminal 1 and 2.

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S’East Leaders Laud FG Over EndSARS

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South-East leaders on Saturday, lauded the Federal Government on the matured and responsive manner it handled all issues relating to the EndSARS protest and agitation.
The leaders of the zone, which included Governors, Senators, House of Representatives members as well as traditional, religious and youth leaders, gave the commendation in a communiqué issued after their meeting with a Presidential delegation in Enugu.
The presidential delegation was led by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who is the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We thank President Buhari for the speed and restraint with which he handled the EndSARS protest, which has engendered peace throughout the country, especially the South-East.
“We, therefore, request the President to look into demands of various groups and youths with a view to resolving them,’’ the statement, which was read by the Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor Dave Umehi, said.
It also called for joint operation by security agencies and local vigilant groups into all forests in the zone to flush out criminals and killer herdsmen with AK47 rifles.
“But we pledge our commitment to continuous coexistence with peaceful herdsmen who have been living peacefully with us.
“We stand for an indivisible and united Nigeria, built on love, fairness, equity and justice. We believe that under this platform – NIGERIA; we are bigger and stronger,’’ it said.
It also called on the Federal Government to continue its support and diplomatic push for the former Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to be elected as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The statement thanked the Federal Government for the timely interventions in Akanu Ibiam International Airport rehabilitation as well as intervention in road infrastructures in the zone.
“We are grateful for the attention given to the second Niger Bridge and completion and inauguration of the Zik’s mausoleum.
“However, we urge the Federal Government to give attention to the completion of the current road projects within the zone,’’ it said.
The statement said that the states in the zone will provide money for the compensation for those affected by the EndSARS protest, help to rebuild police stations and their logistics; while engaging the youths constantly to forestall any violent development in the zone.
“We have plans to set up various empowerment programmes to gainfully engage the youths. The governors also plan to mainstream the youths in their governance to give them a sense of belonging.

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Minister Hails Meeting With S’East Leaders

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described as “extremely fruitful” the meeting which a presidential team had with leaders and stakeholders of the South-East.
“The meeting of the presidential delegation with South-East leaders was very useful,’’ Mohammed told journalists on Sunday in Enugu.
The delegation, led by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, met for more than eight hours in Enugu with selected South-East leaders.
Mohammed said that it was quite instructive that all the groups which took part in the meeting believed in the unity and oneness of the country, pointing out that they clearly spelt out this in their presentations.
“We listened clearly and carefully to all the positions and demands and we are going back to report directly to President Buhari,’’ the minister said.
He noted that the Federal Government had been spreading development and infrastructure to all parts of the country, simultaneously and equitably.
“We want the South-East people to be confident that the Federal Government is spreading development and infrastructure to all parts of the country equitably and will never marginalise any zone in the ongoing development and infrastructure agenda.
“This is what I want to assure Nigerians living in the South-East,’’ Mohammed noted.
According to the minister, when the team gets back to Abuja it will see what can be done immediately concerning some of the positions and demands made by the South-East leaders.
The presidential delegation met with South-East governors, statesmen, elders, religious and traditional leaders, as well as market women and youth leaders.

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