*Airline’s aircraft that overshot runway in Lagos moved to Air Force hangar
The federal government has given emerging domestic carrier, United Nigeria Airlines approval to operate international flights.
A statement from the airline disclosed that approvals from the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace indicated that the airline would operate international flights to United States of America, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The airline disclosed that a letter from the Ministry dated September 8, 2023, conveying the approval, which was signed by Director, Air Transport Management, Mr. H.T. Ejiburu, and addressed to the United Nigeria Airlines Company Limited, noted that the approval was in line with subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and each of the aforementioned countries.
The letter stated: “I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 2nd August 2023 on the above subject and convey the Honourable Minister’s approval for the designation of Messrs United Nigeria Airlines Company Limited to operate international flight operations to the undermentioned countries and cities: Netherlands (Amsterdam), Italy (Rome), United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Dubai), United Kingdom (London), United States of America (USA) (Houston) and Ireland (Dublin).
“The designation of Messrs United Nigeria Airlines Company Limited is in line with the subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the governments of the six mentioned countries.
“Consequently, the airline is hereby advised to liaise with the Civil Aviation Authorities of the aforementioned countries for documentation prior to commencement of scheduled flight operations. However, you are obliged to comply with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (Nig. CARs (2023) Part 188.8.131.52 A-C by taking further steps to liaise with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in fulfilling the requirements if necessary.
“Kindly note that the approval has been communicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its further necessary actions.”
United Nigeria Airlines, with Prof Obiora Okonkwo as Chairman, started flight operations in 2021, and operates scheduled flights in major Nigerian cities.
The airline stated that it had earlier obtained approval for regional flights on which it is finalising arrangements to commence regional operations in couple of weeks upon arrival of its additional aircraft from middle of October.
Meanwhile, the United Nigeria aircraft, Embraer E145 that skidded off the runway on arrival to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, last Friday, from Owerri, has been moved to the Nigeria Air Force maintenance facility at the Lagos airport.
The aircraft with registration markings, 5NBWY overshot the runway 18L into 36R Runway Safety Area (RESA) but all the 47 passengers and 4 crew members on board were unharmed and safely evacuated, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) stated in a statement.