There is always something happening in Nigeria’s aviation industry. If it is not from the government, it is from the airline operators or the passengers. If you don’t have the patience to follow up on the newspaper headlines of the changes in the aviation industry, fear not. We’ve got you covered. Here is a brief rundown of the current happenings within the aviation industry.
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1. Air Acquires Brand New Aircrafts:
Most flyers have never been in a brand new aeroplane. For some, it is a fantasy. Three weeks ago, Air Peace brought in 3 brand new planes and they plan to get at least 8 more brand new aeroplanes before the end of 2021. The airline paid for 13 Embraer aircraft and have purchase rights for 17 more which would enter Nigeria’s air space. This particular aircraft (like any modern vehicle made these days) has charging ports. It also has foldable trays, legroom, privacy, less noise, less pollution and more. The airline intends to use this aircraft to cover not just national destinations. But also regional (Africa, West Africa in particular) and international destinations such as the Lagos-London route. Flying on this Brazilian crafted aircraft is a whole new experience. So keep your eye your for this craft when you book your flight.
2. Osubi Airport Officially Functional
After many years of unfulfilled promises, Osubi Airport is finally functional again. The pride of Delta State and Okpe LGA (in the Warri axis) commercially reopened for commercial activities on 9th July 2021. The management of the airport is now under the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). You can expect to see these three airlines operating from the airport, Air Peace, Aero Contractors and Arik Air. Hopefully, United Nigeria Airlines (UNA) will join them now that the airport is open for business. The routes currently being covered include Warri to Lagos and Warri to Abuja. Deltans are excited because the airport has been closed for 16 months since it began operations 22 years ago (that is in 1999).
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3. Dubai-Nigerian Flight Drama
In case you are wondering what the new drama between Nigeria and Dubai is, let’s fill in the blanks for you. Dubai came up with a policy that all inbound passengers to Dubai must use Emirates airline or spend two weeks in the country of the alternative carrier before entering Dubai. Nigeria found this new policy as discriminatory and country-specific as other African countries are not being subjected to it. Already, Nigeria had agreed to their testing protocols despite knowing that other airlines with similar requests had ceded to Nigeria’s position on COVID-19 testings. According to the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, “They expect us to do a rapid test at the airport and then fly seven hours later and do another test in Dubai and then follow us to our hotel or our accommodation and do another test.” But the minister also said Nigeria is still in talks with Dubai hoping to resolve these issues soonest.
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