While the Federal Executive Council, (FEC), has on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, approved April 2022, as the take-off date for the operations of ‘Nigeria Air’, the long awaited Nigeria airline, aviation analysts, one of which is Sindy Foster, are doubtful about the feasibility of April 2022 projection.
According to Sindy Foster, Principal Managing Partner of Avaero Capital Partners, and an aviation expert, the take-off plan of April 2022 for a national carrier is not at all realistic going by logistics on grounds.
“Given where we are today, with the apparent lack of progress , and no strategic technical partners assigned, five months before the ‘launch’, I would say this is not achievable… say it will take-off by that date is a bit vague.”
Sindy Foster believes that, if the Nigerian government wants to hit the targeted date, “Chances are that, they (the government) will hack it together”
She therefore wondered, if the idea ‘will be a success’ because, “It feels things are a bit rushed, given by where we are today.”
Another aviation expert, who pleaded anonymity, said, while it is okay to have a national carrier, the April 2022 target may not be realized.
In his words,
“Have you asked the Minister (Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika), whether they have done demonstration flights? Has the Air Operator Certificate, (AOC), been issued? These are the critical questions you should ask the Minister.”
He submitted that, going by the processes involve in getting the AOC one of which is 50 hours demonstration flights, among some other procedures, it is therefore not certain if Nigeria Air is ready for the 5 months of April 2022 projected, starting from now.
However, the Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja, seem to be convinced of the April 2022 projection for the take-off; while assuring Nigerians of not less than 70,000 job opportunities as soon as operations begin.