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Virgin Nigeria begins demonstration flight today

Posted by By Wole Shadare, Aviation Reporter on 2005/04/27 | Views: 1155 |

Virgin Nigeria begins demonstration flight today


HAVING received the nod from aviation industry regulators to operate in Nigeria, new national carrier, Virgin Nigeria will today start demonstration flights to Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt from Lagos.

HAVING received the nod from aviation industry regulators to operate in Nigeria, new national carrier, Virgin Nigeria will today start demonstration flights to Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt from Lagos.

The airline had on Monday night flown one of its aircraft into Lagos, ostensibly to prepare for the maiden flights.

The aircraft, an Airbus 320, painted in both Virgin Atlantic Airways colour and Nigeria's green and white national colours, arrived at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos at about 9:20pm from Sofia, Bulgaria.

The arrival of the aircraft may have put an end to insinuations that the airline may never find its bearing in the country because of the criticisms that had trailed its establishment.

The Guardian had reported penultimate week that the national carrier was on the verge of bringing in some aircraft for demonstration flights before being finally certified by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)

Aviation Minister, Mallam Isa Yuguda also assured that the airline would commence operations next month when he inspected its office under construction at the Lagos Airport.

After today's demonstration flight, the airline will initially operate on the Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos routes before extending its services to other parts of the country.

Already, Skypower Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL), which will handle the airlines' Abuja and Port Harcourt operations has started training its ground handling staff. Those in Lagos will be handled by the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO).

The Media Assistant to the Director-General of NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, confirmed yesterday that the airline will today start demonstration flights to Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano.

Although the airline is yet to be issued the all important Air Operator Certificate (AOC), Adurogboye said that the process of issuing AOC to the airline is at stage four, adding that the final level is stage five.

He hinted that NCAA officials would be involved in the demonstration flights.

His words: "They will start demonstration flights tomorrow (today) to Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano. The process of their AOC is at stage four and they are almost there. The final stage is stage five. NCAA is checking their facilities and when everything is fulfilled they will get their AOC.

Virgin Nigeria is the registered private sector carrier of Nigeria. It was established on September 28, 2004 with the signing of the Memorandum of Mutual Understanding by the Federal Government and Virgin Atlantic Airways, the strategic investor/technical partner in the initiative.

Nigerian institutional investors own 51 per cent of its equity through a private placement process carried out early in the year. The 49 per cent balance is held by Virgin Atlantic Limited. Ownership of the new flag carrier will be open in future to Nigerian investors through an Initial Public Offer (IPO) on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown