FirstNation speaks on downgrade by Nigerian aviation authorities

FirstNation Airways said on Tuesday it will go back to scheduled services by the fourth quarter of 2017.

A statement signed by Rasheed Yusuf said the airline is currently pursuing a fleet expansion programme.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, had on Monday downscaled the Certificate of Airworthiness of the airline as a scheduled operator to a non-scheduled operator over alleged violation of safety procedures.

But the statement, Tuesday, said the airline’s airworthiness status has not been downgraded, adding that it has only renewed its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) for charter services.

“Our Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) fell due for renewal on July 31st, 2017, this is the third successful renewal that we have achieved working in good faith with regulatory authorities,” the airline said.

“The renewal process entailed subjecting our operations to rigorous and demanding audit processes covering all areas of our activity. Well before the AOC renewal, we voluntarily reduced our flight frequency to well within the capacity of our current fleet.

“The AOC was successfully renewed for charter operation and we have contracts for sales distributions. We thus remain committed to the highest level of safety standard in line with global industry best practises. Firstnation is currently working on a fleet expansion program and we are confident that we will expand to schedule operation during the fourth quarter of 2017”

The airline says it is ‘working with the NCAA with respect to the outcome of its recent appeal.

“It is imperative, that this is the very first infraction that has been alleged against us. We thus remain bullish about the outlook of this airline,” it added.

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