By Lawani Mikairu
Aero Contractors and Dana Air Thursday commenced flight operations. According to Aero Contractors airline, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, also gave it approval to restart flight operations.
The airline, however, said that it chose to resume flight service a day after the official restart date “in order to stagger flight schedule to ensure that airport facilities were not stretched beyond COVID-19 protocol guidelines”.
The management of the airline also explained that contrary to some media reports that indicated the airline was denied approval to operate, it had received its approval from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and it decided to start operations yesterday, Thursday.
The management said : “Based on the protocol and NCAA regulation in cognizance of the new airport facilitation and COVID-19 protocols, we decided to restart our operation tomorrow, ( Thursday) in order to stagger the flight schedule. So we are inviting our esteemed customers who have enjoyed our service over the years to fly with us”.
Recall other airlines namely, Arik Air, Air Peace, and Ibom Air on Wednesday commenced commercial flight operations at Lagos and Abuja airports.
Meanwhile, Dana Air said it will operate three daily flights from Lagos to Abuja and back while the date for the addition of Port Harcourt and Owerri will be announced later.
The Chief Operating Officer of Dana Air Obi Mbanuzuo, while speaking on the preparedness of the airlines said, ” Dana Air is ready to fly safely again from the 9th of July. We have worked round the clock with the NCAA to achieve this safe resumption of flights and we are introducing other initiatives soon in line with the present realities and the need to minimize contacts at the airport”.
“We have disinfected all our aircraft, provided all our staff with the recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been made available at our check-in, boarding gates and onboard the aircraft for guests and we have an optimized cleaning protocol in place as recommended by the World Health Organisation, (WHO),and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)”
“We have also created a boarding strategy which will give our passengers some sense of safety onboard our aircraft”, Mbanuzuo said.
Chairman, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) COVID-19 Committee, Godwin Balang had on Tuesday night during a webinar announced that the Authority also granted approval to unscheduled aircraft operators to commence operations.
The committee said they are : ” Allied Air Limited, ANAP Business Jets and Bristow Helicopters that had so far complied with the NCAA regulations”.
The committee also said that all domestic airports “scored an aggregate 87.2 per cent but only Murtala Muhammed International Airport, GAT; Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MM2; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja have been given approval to restart”.