Flight diversion: NCAA May Suspend United Nigeria Airlines Leased Planes

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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority has begun an investigation into the circumstances surrounding United Nigeria Abuja-bound flight which was diverted to the Asaba International Airport.

Consequently, officials have said the regulator may suspend all the wet-leased aircraft under the carrier’s operations.

The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Musa Nuhu, said “The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it has commenced investigation into the circumstances surrounding United Nigeria flight NUA 0506 to Asaba and the confusion it has created in the public domain.

“However, preliminary steps have been taken pending conclusions of the ongoing investigation. The Authority wishes to reassure the travelling public that it will leave no stone unturned as it has always done in the past to ensure continued safety of the aviation industry”.

No comments was received from United Airlines spokesperson Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu.

However, in a statement, the Airline said, “A United Nigeria Airlines flight, NUA 0504, operating from the MM2 in Lagos enroute Abuja on Sunday, November 26, 2023, was temporarily diverted to the Asaba International Airport due to poor destination weather,”.

“At all material time, the Pilot of the aircraft was aware of the temporary diversion and was properly briefed. However, a wrong announcement was made by the cabin crew upon landing safely in Asaba creating confusion among the passengers.”

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.

 

Olusola Akintonde/Punch