BREAKING: NCAA suspends all wet lease aircraft under United Nigeria Airlines

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended all the wet-leased aircraft under the United Nigeria Airlines (UNA).

This comes barely 24 hours after one of the aircraft of United Nigeria Airlines (UNA) diverted to Asaba International Airport rather than the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA).

According to Nairametric, a source close to NCAA, on Monday said the apex civil aviation regulatory body took the decision on Monday via a letter communicated to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the airline.

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According to the source, all the wet-leased aircraft in the operations of the airline would remain suspended pending the outcome of an investigation on the Sunday incident, involving one of the wet-leased aircraft in the fleet of the airline.

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.

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It was gathered that the report obtained from the Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), contravened the claim of the airline on poor weather situation in Abuja as at the time of the diversion.

No fewer than two wet-leased Airbus A320-200 aircraft are in the fleet of United Nigeria Airlines.

A wet-leased is a leasing arrangement whereby one airline (the lessor) provides an aircraft, complete crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) to another airline or other type of business acting as a broker of air travel (the lessee), which pays by hours operated.

Also, at times, the cabin crew may be indigenous people.

The source said: “NCAA has suspended all the wet lease aircraft in the operations of United Nigeria Airlines. The excuse they provided to us that the diversion to Asaba was due to poor weather in Abuja was not acceptable to us. So, we have to take the big step by suspending all the aircraft that are wet leased in their fleet.

“The aircraft will remain suspended until after investigation. We can’t allow this to happen. The fact is that their crews are foreigners and they are not familiar with Nigeria, which the airline ought to have done. So, we are suspending them until after the investigation.”

This report is developing, more details will be shared on the Intel Region WhatsApp group as soon as possible.

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