By Chinelo Obogo
United Nigeria Airlines, one of the nation’s leading airlines, has received approval for operation of international flights.
According to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development approval, the airline now has approval to operate international flights to United States of America, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A letter dated September 8, 2023 conveying this approval from the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, signed by Director, Air Transport Management, Mr. Hassan Ejiburu, on behalf of the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, to United Nigeria Airlines Company Limited, said the approval was in line with subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and each of the listed countries.
The letter read: “I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 2nd August 2023 on the above subject and convey the Minister’s approval for the designation of Messrs United Nigeria Airlines Company Limited to operate international flight operations to the undermentioned countries and cities: Netherlands (Amsterdam), Italy (Rome), United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Dubai), United Kingdom (London), United States of America (Houston) and Ireland (Dublin).
“The designation of Messrs United Nigeria Airlines Company Limited is in line with the subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the governments of the six mentioned countries.
“Consequently, the airline is hereby advised to liaise with the Civil Aviation Authorities of the aforementioned countries for documentation prior to commencement of scheduled flight operations. However, you are obliged to comply with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (Nig. CARs (2023) Part 18.104.22.168 A-C by taking further steps to liaise with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in fulfilling the requirements if necessary.
“Kindly note that the approval has been communicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its further necessary actions.”
United Nigeria Airlines, with Prof Obiora Okonkwo, as Chairman, started flight operations in 2021 and operates scheduled flights in major Nigerian cities. The Airline had earlier obtained approval for regional flights following which it’s finalising arrangements to commence operations to some West Coast states in couple of weeks with arrival of its additional aircraft from October.
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