Air Nigeria grounded by NCAA
Air Nigeria’s flight operations are suspended by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the second time in two weeks time. Last week the airline was grounded for safety inspections after a strike action. Today, the NCAA decided to ground the airline with immediate effect over indications that the airline is in financial distress. Air Nigeria’s Managing Director was arrested last Monday by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over the airline’s failure to pay taxes amounting to N4.86 billion over five years and for forging a Tax Clearance Certificate. Air Nigeria’s chairman, Jimoh Ibrahim, is also accused of misusing money from the Aviation Intervention Fund to support his other businesses.
Air Nigeria operates eleven aircraft and operates mainly domestic and regional flights from Lagos. It’s the third airline to shut down this month: Dana Air was grounded after a crash of one of its aircraft and FirstNation Airways had to stop all its operations as its whole fleet requires mandatory maintenance checks.