Air Peace, an indigenous airline, yesterday announced that it flew all 25 aircraft in its fleet on June 24 to different parts of the country in readiness for the resumption of domestic flights.
Although its aircraft fleet had been under storage maintenance,It said the flights were aimed at ensuring that the aircraft were in good condition, having been grounded for close to three months.
“All the aircraft took to the skies flying to Abuja, Port Harcourt and back to Lagos without passengers,” the airline said in a statement by its spokesperson, Stanley Olisa.
”the flights were part of measures the airline had developed to guarantee the safety of both passengers and crew when operations resume”, olisa said
He said the aircraft were brought out of storage and the pilots had been testing them, as all pilots and flight attendants had been retrained in line with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority directives.
The NCAA has been meeting with airline operators in preparation for resumption of domestic flights.
The authority earlier stated that it would submit the aviation restart plan to the Federal Government on Wednesday.
But the NCAA spokesperson, Sam Adurogboye, could not confirm if the plan had been submitted, as he said he was not aware if it had been submitted when contacted.
On Air Peace’s readiness to resume regular flights, Olisa said, “We have been operating ‘special flights’ to local and international destinations, and we have more of such flights in the works.
“This accentuates our preparedness for operation restart as our pilots, cabin crew and engineers have been hands-on and are current. So, we are 100 per cent ready to resume.”
The airline had been involved in charter and evacuation flights to international destinations based on approvals while the flight ban remained.
Dana’s Media and Communications Manager, Kingsley Ezenwa, also said that the airline carried out a test flight with a newly acquired aircraft.
He said, “All through the lockdown, we had our engineers on ground to ensure proper storage and steady maintenance of our fleet for resumption at any time.
“As part of our post COVID-19 resumptions plans, we had to get our team fully on ground on Wednesday for a dry run at the MMA2 terminal under the supervision of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
“After a successful dry run, we conducted shakedown flights from Lagos to Port Harcourt with our newly acquired Boeing and MD aircraft in our fleet.”
He added that the flights were conducted to remove uncertainty from travellers’ minds and encourage them to fly again.