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Published On: Tue, Jan 20th, 2015

NCAA to lift suspension of Discovery Air license

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NCAAFrom Suleiman Idris, Lagos

There are indications that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will soon lift the suspension of the operating license of Nigeria domestic carrier, Discovery Air, which was suspended last week over what the regulatory body described as failure by the operator to correct anomalies observed in the operations of the airline from an audit carried out recently.

A source, who does not want her name made public, confided in our correspondent that the authority has reached advanced talks with the airline that is said to have virtually met the conditions stipulated by NCAA.

According to her, the purported letter written to the airline were said to have generated heated debate among the top officials of NCAA at a meeting to deliberate on the condition to lift the ban; many, she said, questioned the rationale for the action in the first place, since according to them, the anomalies observed by NCAA did not in any way border on safety of passengers.

Chairman of Discovery Air, Mr. Babatunde Babalola last week disclosed that the airline has began a resolution of all the issues the agency raised in its suspension letter as well as meetings with passengers and their representatives to sort out compensations for their cancelled flights during the last Christmas period.

Babalola, who affirmed that his operating license was not withheld due to safety-related issues, said “We are complying already with the regulation. We have started having meetings with the over 100 passengers and their lawyers that were affected during the flight disruption between December 24 and 26, 2014.

We have made ticket refunds to some of the passengers, and we have promised to offer them 25 percent rebate on subsequent trips when we resume flights. We do not intend to embarrass our passengers; we did everything legal during the period”, he stated.

He said “We have written to the passengers on our next step at resolving the issues and urged them to acknowledge our letters to enable us get to the next level. As an airline, Discovery Air remains committed to good service and we are ready to serve our esteemed passengers when we resume”, he emphasized.


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