The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended Azman Air operations following its inability to renew its Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
Midweek Pioneer Transport learnt from a source that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended its operations for failing to meet the requirements for AOC renewal.
According to information gathered, the airline had already told its workforce not to report to duties on Thursday as it was suspending operations due to operational reasons.”
It was also learnt that the regulatory body had given it much time to renew the AOC, but failed despite issuing the airline another 30 days ultimatum to meet the requirements.
An inside source further stated that the airline is making a case for an extension in their license and is said to have paid N30 million (unconfirmed) of the existing debt to the regulator.
Recall that during one of the meetings between government agencies and airlines, the NCAA had revealed there was heavy indebtedness to the NCAA to the tune of N42bn and $7.8million.
NCAA director-general, Captain Musa Nuhu, after that meeting had explained that airlines will have to remit funds on a monthly basis to offset their legacy debts or risk non-renewal of the AOC and Air Transport License (ATL).
The above may not be the reason for the current situation but as it stands now, the airline is currently not flying although scheduled for operations.
There are currently no staff available on their counters as at last check.
Recall Dana was suspended by the regulator, but are planning to come back. Aero voluntarily suspended their services, and now Azman has been suspended while they renew their AOC.
The withdrawal of services from three airlines significantly reduces the amount of bookable seats and will yet again lead to increased fares if there continues to be a mismatch of supply and demand.
NCAA recently announced they would not renew the ATL and AOC of indebted airlines, so we can expect to see more voluntary and involuntary suspensions down the line. As this is a financial crisis, it can be remedied by cash injections into the airlines. This is not just a Nigerian cash liquidity issue.
The development has impacted travels significantly as the suspensions have reduced the number of aircraft in operations to 36 from 123, with grounded aircraft currently at 87.
This recent grounding could cause airfares to skyrocket as the issue of scarcity of aviation kerosene, also known as Jet A1, led to the surge in airfares across the country some few weeks ago, which may force passengers to pay more.