Nigerian airlines are set to soar to new heights as the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) successfully obtained the Third Country Operator (TCO) certificate, granting them access to the United Kingdom and various European destinations. This significant development eases the path for designated Nigerian carriers to apply for operation permits with minimal obstacles.
Among the airlines poised to benefit from this achievement is Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest carrier. Notably, Mr. Allen Onyema, Chairman of Air Peace, had recently voiced concerns about the airline being denied access to fly to London. The intervention of the NCAA has now cleared the way for Air Peace and other Nigerian airlines to operate in the United Kingdom and Europe.
The TCO certification extends its benefits to Omni Blu Airline, another Nigerian carrier that has secured the coveted permit, opening doors to international operations. Additionally, United Nigeria Airlines (UNA) has been designated to offer flights to the UK, further expanding the options for travellers.
Director-General of Civil Aviation, Capt. Musa Nuhu, emphasised the importance of airlines involving the Civil Aviation Authority in their negotiations with foreign countries. He noted that it has been a common practice for privately-owned airlines to engage in flight negotiations independently, only to seek the authority’s assistance when encountering challenges.
This milestone signals a significant advancement for the Nigerian aviation industry, allowing for increased connectivity and opportunities for both airlines and travellers. As airlines gear up to explore new routes and destinations, collaboration with regulatory authorities like the NCAA remains crucial for the smooth operation of international flights.