Nigerian air operator, Med-View airline, has been banned from operating within the airspace of the European Commission.
A statement released by the commission said that a total of 181 airlines have been banned from EU skies.
“Today the European Commission updated the EU air safety list, the list of non-European airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union,” said the commsision.
“Following today’s update, all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique are cleared from the list, following further improvements to the aviation safety situation in these countries.
“On the other hand, the airlines Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) were added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European aviation safety agency during the assessment for a third country operator authorisation.”
The commission, however, said that airlines subjected to operating ban can operate in the EU using leased aircraft of another airline.
“Airlines subjected to an operating ban could be permitted to operate within the European Union by using wet-leased aircraft of an airline which is not subject to an operating ban, provided that the relevant safety standards are complied with.
“The aircraft being used in such operations could be branded as if it belonged to the fleet of the banned airline.”
Med-View began flying the Lagos-Garwick route on November 20, 2015, with a Boeing 767 aircraft which operated four times a week.
The management of Med-View Airline said its operation to London was not affected by the ban.
According to a statement released by Isiaq Na’Allah, the airline’s Executive Director, Business Development and Commercials, the airline said the public only misunderstood the pronouncement as a ban on its UK operations.
The statement said the airline had since been operating with her wet-leased aircraft, dismissing the panic generated by reports of the ban as end-result of “misinformation”.
The statement added that the ban falls under exception rule in EASA, Annex A, where it states that “Air carrier listed in Annex A could be permitted to exercise traffic rights by using wet-leased aircraft of an air carrier, which is not subject to an operating ban”.
“The Airline regretted the anxiety the misinformation may have caused its teeming passengers and assured them that there is no basis for alarm as the Lagos-London flight remains unaffected,” Mr. Na’allah said.
“The Airline on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 operated its normal schedule flight to London amidst the misinformation about the restriction.
“We at Med-View Airline are committed to safety, and currently working with EASA and NCAA to restore normalcy,” he added.
Mr. Na’allah also said there was no need for apprehension, stating that the airline had secured a B777 aircraft leased from an EU-member state to boost its international operations, which will soon join the fleet.
Med-View Airline had also passed through one of the most stringent operations audit of the global airlines’ body (the International Air Transport Association, IATA), after which it was issued with the International Operational Safety Audit, IOSA, Mr. Na’allah added.