The umbrella body all airlines in Nigeria, Airline Operators of Nigeria(AON), has commended the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, for the courageous way he stood up for the honour, dignity and respect to Nigeria’s sovereignty as a nation on the diplomatic matter between Nigeria and UAE.
The body in a statement, expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering stance on the issue which emboldened the Minister of Aviation to reciprocate with equal measures the treatment meted out to a Nigerian airline operating into the UAE.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s government for standing solidly and protectively behind not only Nigerian airlines but also indigenous investments and investors in Nigeria.
In the same vein, the airline operators commended the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, for his dogged and courageous actions which did not leave anyone in doubt about his resolve to do all within his capacity not to allow any country disrespect us.
The AON stressed that it is not opposed to other foreign airlines operating into Nigeria but added that it frowns upon the underhand actions of these airlines and their countries in making it difficult for Nigerian airlines to get the necessary permits to operate in their countries.
Few days ago, the UAE reduced the three weekly flights operated by Nigeria’s Air Peace into the Sharjah International Airport to just one flight per week while UAE’s carrier, Emirates, operates twenty-one flights weekly into Nigeria, a situation that led the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to reduce Emirates frequency into Nigeria to just one flight weekly too.
As a result of this action, the UAE authorities have not only granted seven slots per week to Air Peace but have granted the Nigerian carrier the slots to operate from the preferred Dubai Airport instead of Sharjah.