The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCCA) has suspended all wet-leased aircraft operated by United Nigeria Airlines (UNA). This development is coming hours after one of the aircraft of UNA, flight NUA 0504, operating from the Murtala Muhammed Airport two (MMA2) in Lagos en route to Abuja on Sunday, diverted to the Asaba International Airport. A source close to the NCAA claims that the regulatory body made the decision on Monday and sent a letter to the airline’s chief operating officer (COO). The source claimed that until the inquiry into the Sunday incident involving one of the airline’s wet-leased aircraft concluded, all wet-leased aircraft used in airline operations would stay stopped.
It was gathered that immediately after the incident gained traction on social media on Sunday, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Capt. Musa Nuhu called an emergency meeting of the agency, where it was resolved that the excuse given by the airline was not tenable to the authority
It was further gathered that the report obtained from the Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) contradicted the airline’s claim on the poor weather situation in Abuja at the time of the diversion. No fewer than two wet-leased Airbus A320-200 aircraft are in the fleet of United Nigeria Airlines
The source said: “NCAA has suspended all the wet lease aircraft in the operations of United Nigeria Airlines. The excuse they provided to us that the diversion to Asaba was due to poor weather in Abuja was not acceptable to us. So, we have to take the big step of suspending all the aircraft that are wet-leased in their fleet.
“The aircraft will remain suspended until after the investigation. We can’t allow this to happen. The fact is that their crews are foreigners and they are not familiar with Nigeria, which the airline ought to have done. So, we are suspending them until after the investigation.”