Posted by Sade Williams
The Federal government has impounded an aircraft belonging to Flair Aviation, a United Kingdom based aviation company for operating a commercial flight as against the humanitarian operations it was given approval to operate to Nigeria.
Aviation Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika, confirmed this on his verified twitter handle saying the crew of the flight are also being interrogated as there shall be maximum penalty for the offence.
According to Hadi Sirika @hadisirika, “COVID-19. Flair Aviation, a UK company, was given approval for humanitarian operations but regrettably we caught them conducting commercial flights. This is callous! The craft is impounded, crew being interrogated. There shall be maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve!”.
Thetravelport.com.ng gathered that the airline flew from London Stansted airport to Spain and then flew to Nigeria with some passengers.
It was learnt that aviation authorities in Nigeria also discovered that the airline had already booked some passengers to be flown to the United Kingdom from Lagos before it was stopped from doing so on Sunday.
“The airline sent a request to the Ministry of Aviation on May 12, 2020, to carry out a humanitarian flight, it got the approval from the Ministry on May 13, 2020 and it flew in today from Spain after leaving the United Kingdom”, a source hinted.
It would be recalled that Boss Mustapha, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had announced a further four-week extension of the closure of Nigeria’s airspace, insisting that only operations of essential flights such as for evacuation and medical supplies, are allowed.