FNA suspends operations due to crisis with flight crew licences

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*MD/CEO of FNA, Mr. Kayode Odukoya

Despite First Nation Airways claim that it suspended its operations to Kaduna due to low passenger patronage, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said the airline shut down its own operations because it lacks flight crew with valid licence to operate its aircraft.

The spokesman for the agency Mr. Sam Adurogboye who was reacting to the shutting down of the airline’s operations by its (FNA’s) management said in a telephone interview that “FNA suspended its own operation on account of lack flight crew with valid licence to operate its aircraft in Nigeria.”

In an earlier interview, Adurogboye has stated that an airline that operates with a flight crew without the necessary requirement breaches the agency’s rule.

“Any airline that lacks the flight crew with the requisite licences to operate its aircraft is in contravention of the NCAA regulations and therefore cannot be adjudged fit to fly. It is like driving a car without a drivers licence and that is a criminal offence in Nigeria,” Adurogboye said.

Earlier today, FNA suspended its operations into Kaduna International Airport and attributed the decision to low passenger traffic on that route.

However, a source told News Gazette that the airline had grounded its entire operations adding that flights may resume on March 29, 2017.

It was also gathered that the airline had been struggling to stay afloat financially on that route given the huge amount of money spent on fuel yet with a low passenger turnout.

The source said some of the local airlines were even reducing their flight frequencies into Kaduna airport due to low passenger traffic.                                 “You put a Boeing 737 500 aircraft with a capacity to carry more than 100 passengers and on that route you carry just 40 passengers? That’s a mismatch and we are losing revenue burning fuel and flying empty seat.  Kaduna has turned out not to be as lucrative as Abuja. A lot of people are not flying into Kaduna. In fact that’s why some of the foreign airlines didn’t agree to go to Kaduna,” said the source.

 

 

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