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Discovery seeks to regain operator certificate

By EDITOR
17 April 2015   |   10:30 am
Discovery Air, one of the domestic airlines in Nigeria has expressed concern over the suspension of its Air Operator Certificate (AOC), thereby seeking for the regain of the licence, as the airline has met the three conditions given to it.

Discovery AirDiscovery Air, one of the domestic airlines in Nigeria has expressed concern over the suspension of its Air Operator Certificate (AOC), thereby seeking for the regain of the licence, as the airline has met the three conditions given to it.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had suspended the airline’s AOC for infractions, which included its failure to refund and compensate its passengers it failed to airlift at a scheduled date and the delay in the payment of the salary of its workers.

The Chairman of the airline, Babatunde Babalola explained that the airline has met three conditions given to it before the licence would be restored.

He said the airline has refunded the passengers it failed to airlift from Abuja to Lagos on Christmas Day, last year and has also compensated them. According to him, workers had received arrears of their salaries and what remained of the salaries was paid to them through post-dated cheque that would mature on April 30, 2015.

Babalola said that the case of Discovery Air is with the Department of air Transport Regulation (DATR), Airworthiness and Standards and Consumer Protection Directorate.

He said that Consumer Protection has issued it a clean bill of health and the airline is now waiting for DATR and Airworthiness and Standards to certify the airline. He also noted that while waiting, the airline has already lost estimated N1 billion since January 8, 2015 it stopped operation and its over 145 workers have been out of work.

The airline is at the verge of losing about N4 billion foreign investments; unless it regained its AOC. His words: “We are restructuring our finances and our operations. We have been off the sky since January 8, 2015.

I believe that as a regulatory body, NCAA out to engage the airline and guide it to actualise the given objectives so that it will start operation again. There was no meeting between Discovery Air and NCAA before our licence was suspended.

We have foreign investors who want to inject N4 billion into the airline but these investors cannot do this while the operating licence of the airline is still suspended.

“We have about 145 workers and still growing. We do not have technical issues. We were suspended because we had bridging loan that became problematic. That affected our finances,” Babalola said. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Meanwhile one of the senior official of the airline, Isaac Ebi Siawe, who spoke on behalf of the worker said: “We were suspended by NCAA and one of the reasons was that the airline did not pay the workers.

So the management decided to pay all outstanding salaries. “They have paid us January salary and asked us to go for indefinite leave as no work is going on until after the suspension of our licence.

The January salary has been paid and we have received cheque for outstanding salaries, which include all the salary arrears. The cheque will be cashed on the 3oth of April. We agreed to that; so we have settled,” he added.