Posted by By Kenneth Ehigiator on
INADEQUATE facilities at Nigeria’s airports may have strengthened the resolve of the U.S. government not to allow any airline from the country fly into its territories.
LAGOS—INADEQUATE facilities at Nigeria’s airports may have strengthened the resolve of the U.S. government not to allow any airline from the country fly into its territories.
Virgin Nigeria, the country’s new flag carrier, is currently under U.S. ban arising from ownership control of the airline and other technical matters.
Nigeria’s busiest airport, the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos is currently category 3 certified, and this does not meet the requirement of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT)
Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Nigeria, Mr. Simon Harford, who dropped hint of the development at a briefing in Lagos yesterday, said the U.S. ban on the airline had gone beyond the issue of control, adding that were the ban imposed on the airline to be airlifted, it still would not be able to fly into the U.S.
According to him, the U.S. government will not allow any Nigerian carrier to enter its domain because none of the nation’s airports has attained category one certification.
He said Virgin Nigeria would also not been allowed in, as the Murtala Mohammed Airport from which it would be departing is not category one certified.
Mr. Harford said: “ The attitude of the U.S. government is more on technical issue than on philosophical matters. The Nigerian government is making appreciative efforts to ensure that the issue of ban is resolved in a few months.
“But even if the ban was lifted today, Virgin Nigeria or any other Nigerian airline won’t be able to fly into the U.S. Nigeria has to be category one certified, but it is not.” He said another obstacle standing in the way of Nigerian airlines’ entering into the U.S. is the non-passage of the Civil Aviation Bill into law.
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