Plane Diversion: NCAA sanctions United Nigeria Airlines
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has suspended all foreign lease aircraft under United Nigeria Airlines hours after the airline operator diverted its Lagos-Abuja en-route flight to Asaba.
A United Nigeria Airline flight NUA0504, operating from the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos en route to Abuja, landed at Asaba International Airport in Delta State.
The development, shocking to passengers, was said to be due to poor destination weather in the nation’s capital.
But, aviation experts nullified this claim, saying that weather reports are released to pilots or airlines every 30 minutes.
The airline maintained that at all material times, the aircraft’s pilot was aware of the temporary diversion and was properly briefed.
However, a report emerged that all the wet lease aircraft under United Nigeria Airlines have been suspended.
It was gathered that immediately the incident gained traction on social media on Sunday, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Capt. Musa Nuhu called an emergency meeting of the agency, where it was resolved that the excuse given by the airline was not tenable to the authority.
A former Director General of the Agency, Benedict Adeyileka also confirmed the development shortly after the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, called upon the heads of aviation regulatory bodies to address safety issues within the sector.
“I just confirmed that their sub-Part G of their AOC is suspended. This means all their foreign registered aircraft are on subpart G,” he told journalists.
“If you take the flight from Lagos to Abuja, the Captain is supposed to announce that it is landing in Asaba for whatever reason, but that was not the case.
“The director of the NCAA has the power to suspend that operation pending the investigation on the matter”.
According to the source, all the wet-leased aircraft in the airline’s operations would remain suspended pending the outcome of an investigation on the Sunday incident, involving one of the wet-leased aircraft in the airline’s fleet.
No fewer than two wet-leased Airbus A320-200 aircraft are in the fleet of United Nigeria Airlines.