The Federal Government of Nigeria has penalised a British airline company, Flair jet, for operating commercial flights into Nigeria without approval amidst lockdown.
This was announced by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Sunday via his Twitter handle, where he said the airline contravened section 1.3.3 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations 2015.
He noted that the airline’s “callous misdemeanor” has been reported to the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority, and other authorities.
“Flairjet were found to violate our Civil Aviation Regulations IS 1.3.3(a) Table 2(IV)7(a) and IS 1.3.3 (a) Table 2(VIII)(4). The maximum penalty for each is N500,000:00K. We caused them to pay and reported their callous misdemeanor to UK CAA, MFA and the UK High Commission,” he tweeted.
The DAILY VENDOR had reported on May 17 that the Federal Government has impounded an aircraft belonging to a British company for operating passenger flights into Nigeria without approval.
The pilots of the aircraft, were interrogated and quarantined for 14 days.
The Minister explained that the UK company, Flair Aviation had the government’s approval for humanitarian operations, but the company deviated into conducting commercial operations.
“This company applied severally as to operate humanitarian flights and we did approve. It is very clear at the beginning of this exercise that we defined what those flights should be: essential flights basically – cargo, medical evacuation, medical supplies, and so on and so forth.
“Unfortunately, this company decided to become commercial in their service, charging money and flying people in and out.
“In the first place, the whole essence of a lockdown is to ensure there is no movement of persons freely because this COVID-19 we are all spending sleepless nights for happened because somebody travelled abroad. So, we believe this shouldn’t happen.
“The crew is British nationals. The pilots are subjected to 14 days quarantine at the moment while the investigation goes on. Whatever is there in our laws will be applied to the fullest,” the minister had said.