Landing Rights Denial: Reps bans UK, Canadian Airlines 

Landing Rights Denial: Reps bans UK, Canadian Airlines 


Chinazor Megbolu

The Federal House of Representatives over the weekend, banned airlines from Canada and United Kingdom over landing right denial to Nigerian carriers.

The Committee on Aviation disclosed  that the airlines from those countries will no longer be allowed landing rights in Nigeria.

The Committee added that the action was in retaliation for denying Nigerian carrier the same rights.

The Committee Chairman, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji in a statement issued at weekend noted that the committee reached the decision on Friday at the end of an investigative hearing.

Nnaji explained the hearing was on the use of foreign airlines to evacuate stranded Nigerians out of the United Arab Emirates, UK and United State of America (USA) by Emirates Airline, British Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.

He stated that their actions in the earlier evacuations undermined the integrity of Nigeria as a leading economy in Africa.

Nnaji also averred that the House in a motion, told President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Ministries of Aviation and Foreign Affairs to stop patronizing foreign airlines in the evacuation of stranded Nigerians.

He maintained that the motion was to ensure that Nigerian airlines enjoy the right of first refusal in any future evacuation flights.

Nnaji hinted that the Ministry of Aviation and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have been directed by the committee to deny approval to any airline from Canada and UK unless they allow a Nigerian operator approval for evacuation of citizens.

According to Nnaji; “the Ministry of Aviation and its relevant agencies were also mandated to report Canada to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, (ICAO). This is for denying a Nigerian Airline landing rights for the evacuation of stranded Nigerian citizens in that country”.

The statement, however, stressed that the committee blamed the frustrations the airlines were going through on what Nnaji said was an international aero politics.

He commended the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Godfrey Onyeama, who were in attendance at the investigative hearing for their unprecedented support for  indigenous airline operators.

Nnaji also pointed out that approval for aircraft, that used to take months for importation now takes less than 48 hours.

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