The Senate Committee on Aviation on Wednesday recommended that Arik Air be allowed to serve as Nigeria’s national flag carrier, until the Aviation ministry is able to work out modalities of securing another national carrier.
If this recommendation is adopted by the National Assembly, Arik Air will enjoy preferential rights or privileges, accorded by the government, for international operations.
The airline company will also be required to display the flag of Nigeria in all its aircrafts. Presently, Nigeria has no flag-bearing carrier.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Hope Uzodinma, while presenting the report of the committee’s findings regarding the arbitrary fees charged by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic airways, said Arik airline should be allowed to fly the nation’s flag pending when a new national carrier would be approved by the Minister of Aviation.
“What we are saying is that for now let’s allow Arik to fly our flag around the world while the ministry of aviation is working out modalities of securing a new national carrier,” Mr Uzodinma said.
The committee in its recommendations also addressed issues relating to compliance or non-compliance with relevant aviation laws and all unwholesome activities by foreign airlines, and the role played by regulatory agencies which undermine the growth of the aviation industry in Nigeria.
The Senate President, David Mark, while reacting to the recommendations, requested the committee to produce a “compressed version of the recommendations” as according to him, the one presented was too bulky for members to deliberate on one after the other.