After serving a suspension from January 2015 over sundry issues it has been gathered that new airline, Discovery Air may lose its Air operators Certificate (AOC) for not operating with it for over eight months after the airline’s latest suspension was lifted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Nigerian Flight Deck investigation points to the fact that since the airline was reinstated over eight months ago to operate after a four month suspension handed in January, it is yet to fly, meaning that for it to commence operations it would have to go through the process of getting another AOC.
Discovery Airs suspension was lifted in April 2015, but the airline has not flown as at the time of filing and posting this report in December 19, 2015 thereby flaunting the 90day stipulated for an airline to commence operations after it receives its AOC as the airline has now stayed 240 days, 150days over the stipulation by the law.
Spokesman of the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye who communicated with our correspondent on the issue explained that there were issues that led to the suspension of Discovery Air operations and said that steps were taken to resolve those which is why the airline was certified to resume operations.
He however explained that they could not start because they had not complied with other directives from the CAA.
Adurogboye in his message stated,” There are issues that led to discovery operations being suspended in the first instance. Certain steps were taken to correct them after which they were certified to resume operations. The resumption is on the condition that staff salaries are fully paid. So the onus is on them to demonstrate compliance. Note that the AOC has a validity period,” he said.
The law stipulates that should the airline not operate for a minimum of 30days and a maximum of 90 days, the airline shall have its AOC revoked and the airline has not met the conditions put forward by the regulators neither has it operated since last January even after reinstatement from suspension in April the airline still has not flown meaning the NCAA is bound by law to revoke its AOC.
On whether the NCAA will revoke the AOC of the airline in question, a source in the Authority told Nigerian Flight Deck.” You can deduce what follows. The position of the law is clear. Minimum of 30 days and maximum of 90days.”
Discovery Air, seemed to be jaunting from one issue to the other as its operations were first suspended on January 8, 2015 after it cancelled flights arbitrarily on December 24th and 25th stranding passengers and causing a furore at the airport.
The airline’s operating licence was then withdrawn when it was discovered that it was owing months of salaries and had a poor financial state which could lead to breach of safety, this suspension lasted four months.
In April 2015, NCAA issued a statement lifting the suspension placed on the operations of Discovery Air following what it described as a successful audit of the safety and financial state of the airline.
The statement had in part read, “The decision to restore the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) was predicated on the satisfactory conclusion of a Financial Health Audit of the airline.”
“In the aftermath of the audit, the management of the airline has demonstrated encouraging commitment to offset the outstanding staff salaries by April 30, 2015 and in addition, all staff sent on compulsory leave without pay have been recalled,” he added.
The NCAA stated satisfaction with the Letters of Credit from the airline’s financiers, which had provided guarantee for their business in the long term.
“Therefore in consideration of all the actions taken by the airline to address passenger complaints, the authority, pursuant to Section 35(6) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 hereby lifts the suspension of, and restores the airline’s AOC with effect from the date of receipt of this letter,” the NCAA boss said.
However, since this statement issued Discovery Airline is yet to fly and unconfirmed reports have it that the airline is winding up with the sale of one of its aircraft to another local operator as well as the withdrawal of the other by the airline’s lessors and efforts to get to the airline management proved abortive.