First Nation Airways, one of Nigeria’s eight domestic airlines, on Tuesday said it voluntarily suspended its flight operations to reduce the costs.
Chimara Imediegwu, its Director of Flight Operations, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the airline was not officially grounded, but was re-programming its schedule.
Mr. Imediegwu said that suspension of the flight schedule was temporary, adding that the airline was working to resume its operations on March 28.
“We decided to take this step in order not to continue to fly for flying sake and spending scarce resources due to drop in the number of passengers flying to Kaduna.
“So, it is not true that we grounded our operations due to lack of flight crew or any other factors,” he said.
The director said that some other airlines had also cut down their flights because of reduction in the number of passengers.
Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, Public Relations, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), confirmed the development in a text message to aviation correspondents.
Mr. Adurogboye, however, said that the airline grounded its operations because it did not have flight crew “who are updated at the moment”.
The NCAA spokesperson had also in a recent interview with journalists confirmed that First Nation was operating with only a single A319 aircraft instead of the prerequisite two aircraft.
Mr. Adurogboye also said the airline was granted waiver for few months to use one aircraft due to the unserviceable nature of its second aircraft, adding that the NCAA was closely monitoring its operations.
NAN reports that the airline had also in August 2016 suspended operations for two months due to lack of operating aircraft. (NAN)