Two weeks after suspension of its flight operation due to inadequate aircraft in its fleet, the management of FirstNation Airline on Sunday announced its return.
In a statement issued by Rasheed Yusuff, Corporate Affairs in the airline, the management said: “we are delighted to inform you that our operation is back. Flight commenced on Sunday, September 18, 2016 with very strong passenger demand despite the break.
“This patronage reinforces the strength of our brand and the quality of our service. We received ground swell of support from the flying public during our maintenance break and this tremendous support has been humbling experience to all of us at Firstnation.”
According to the management, since the airline launched service in 2013, “we have built a respectable followership and rated consistently as market leader on safety standard and schedule integrity on the routes that we serve. This reputation was reinforced by Firstnation’s achievement of International Air Transport Association (IATA) International Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification (the airline industry global bench mark for world class safety standard) in 2015 within record time of twelve months. The achievement of IOSA certification by Firstnation in 12 months of application remains unrivalled in West and Central Africa.”
The airline, through its Director of Flight Operations, Captain Chimara Imediegwu, after suspension of flights, had declared that the airline suspended operations due to inadequate equipment in its fleet.
According to him, two of the airline’s aircraft developed some snags, which affected its operations, hence the decision by the airline to voluntarily ground its operations voluntarily with the knowledge of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
“We had a snag in one of our aircraft and not a C-Check as claimed in some quarters. We carried out a troubleshooting on the aircraft and we were not satisfied with its performance.”
“So, we decided to ground our operations pending the time when the three aircraft would be in perfect position.
“The aircraft Manufacturers’ engineers would be in the country either by 8th or 9th this month. Immediately they arrive, they would effect repairs on the aircraft and I can assure you that we will return to flight operations by 15th September, 2016.”
Before the suspension of flights, FirstNation had three Airbus320 aircraft in its fleet.