+ acquires 2 new modern Airbus
– Resumes flight operation in August 2013
One of the popular domestic airlines in Nigeria, First Nation Airways has cleared the air on the allegation that Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu owns the airline. The airline with the national colour of green and white also claimed that it has just taken delivery of two modern Airbus A319 aircraft as part of a nine aircraft programme. It also stated that contrary to widespread speculations that its aircraft were grounded by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), flight operations would begin operation in August, 2013.
According to Luke Terver Uzer, Project Manager, First Nation Airways Limited on Tuesday, July 25, 2013, “First Nation recently took delivery of two modern Airbus A319 aircraft as part of a nine aircraft programme. The aircraft is fitted with all leather seats and state of the art equipment. The Airbus A319 has the same optimized cabin cross section as the A320 which is the widest single aside fuselage in the market and set the standard for passenger cabin comfort. The A319 continues to prove its versatility to enable airlines around the world like British Airways, Lufthansa, Iberia, Air France, South African Airways, American Airways, Delta Airlines, Virgin American Airways, etc benefit from the range option and versatility.
The aircraft are installed with AFIRS 220 iridium satellite global communication equipment one of the very few aircraft with state of the art Satellite Navigation (SATNAV) functionality and one of the very few within West Africa. The SATNAV provide crew reliable voice and data services in-flight and simultaneously connect to aircraft systems analyzing performance in-flight. This allows the airline to track all aircraft system performance in-flight from ground. This is one of the most advanced SATNAV systems that support the airline flight operations quality assurance oversight. The Airbus A319 delivery is historical as the very first sets of A319 to come on Nigerian register.
We have strong corporate governance and high ethical standards and we made no misrepresentation to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as to the fleet being new and we have received no query whatsoever from NCAA as alluded in the story. The aircraft are far younger and well within NCAA age limit. In fact, this fleet compare favourably with the youngest fleet of commercial passenger aircraft of the same category anywhere in the world. The airline is not grounded by NCAA.
However, the process of putting aircraft to service require ground familiarization, drills, etc, in compliance with our internal safety procedure. Aircraft are not rushed to service.
Aircraft entry to service is diligent and detailed process. The fleet will enter service in August 2013.
Our previous A320 was retired in an orderly process and the allusion in the story is wrong. While we respect Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu as one of Nigeria’s leaders, it is important to clarify that he is not an investor in First Nation either directly or indirectly so, the allusion to N40 billion investment is totally false”.
– FEMI OYEWALE
This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, July 30, 2013