Having suspended scheduled flight services for more than four months due to financial constraints, a lack of equipment capacity, and industry challenges, Aero Contractors, which is under the receivership of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is set to resume flight operations.
NewsBits gathered that the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, had stated that the airline had been cleared to resume flight services after the mandatory audit on the activities of the airline.
Capt. Nuhu who made said, “Aero Contractors was not grounded based on safety issues, we did an audit of them because whatever audit you do, you have findings, and they were all minor findings. We audited them and we found out that the issue they had was finance sustainability.
“Aviation is safety-sensitive and whenever you have financial difficulty, it is just a matter of time, you will not be able to comply with all the regulatory requirements and some may start cutting corners. So, before financial issue becomes safety issue, we had a discussion with them and they, on their own before we took any action, agreed with our findings, and suspended their operations to enable them to reorganise and get some funding to get more equipment.
“That is what they have done. We sat with them, they submitted, we asked for projections, which they did, and we reviewed. The first one wasn’t good enough. They had to go and review it, and it was quite satisfactory. We had MoU with them for payment of outstanding five per cent on Ticket Sales Charge. So, they are fine. As far as we are concerned, they can resume operations.’’
Since NCAA audit showed that the airline was financially stressed, NewsBits made several futile efforts to contact Jude Nwauzor, the spokesperson of AMCON to find out if AMCON had provided additional funds to Aero to enable the resumption of scheduled flight operations. Up until the time of this publication, Nwauzor did not return our calls.
On Monday, a flyer shared by unknown persons went viral. The flyer stated that the first ‘come back’ flight by Aero was slated to take off from Lagos to Abuja on December 5.
Attached to the flyer was a statement, “Congratulations to all of us as our dear airline is set to recommence operations come December 5, 2022. As part of preparations, our website has been reactivated and flights uploaded to commence booking operations. Let the world know that our dear Aero Contractors is airborne again.”
It would be recalled that the management of Aero Contractors had, on July 20, 2022, suspended flights until further notice due to financial challenges that bedevilled the airline.