Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on Sunday disclosed that an aircraft owned by a British company has been impounded in the country for operating commercial flights without approval.
Sirika made this known via his Twitter handle, @hadisirika, stressing that the company, Flair Aviation, was authorised to conduct humanitarian flights but was caught operating commercial flights.
Sirika explained that in addition to the confiscated aircraft, a “maximum penalty” would be imposed on the company for the contravention of FG’s ban on commercial flights as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“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, the crew being interrogated. There shall be maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve,” the minister tweeted.
The PUNCH reports that the country’s airports and airspace were shut in March by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as part of efforts to contain COVID-19.
Commercial flight operations, both local and international, had stopped forthwith but the President’s directive allowed the operation of essential flights including those for medical and evacuation purposes, amongst others, which are subject to the authorisation of the Federal Ministry of Aviation and agencies under it.
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