ABUJA, Nigeria — Azman Air, after nine years of scheduled operations, has reportedly ceased its services.
However, the airline’s spokesperson, Mr. Nurudden Aliyu, contends that the airline has only “suspended” operations due to challenges returning four of its aircraft to service.
Insider sources on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, have attributed the halt in operations to difficulties in accessing foreign exchange and excessive charges, hinting that other airlines might also tread the same path.
They further revealed that Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa, Chairman of Azman Air, has formally communicated to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, about the airline’s decision to halt operations.
Despite these challenges, Azman Air’s Air Operator’s Certificate, AOC, with the NCAA remains valid until the end of August. Based on Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, an operator failing to renew its AOC will have it lapse after 90 days, post which the NCAA can suspend or eventually revoke such a license.
Yunusa, also the President of Airline Operators of Nigeria, reportedly conveyed his frustration in running the business amidst mounting challenges in a letter addressed to Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General Civil Aviation.
In a counter-narrative, the airline’s PR Manager, Aliyu, denied the cessation allegations, stating that Azman Air had merely suspended operations because of the four aircraft in maintenance.
He reassured that services would resume by October.
Over the past two years, the NCAA has suspended Azman Air multiple times for various reasons, one of which was a N1.2 billion debt to NCAA.
In 2022, the airline signed an agreement on repayment modalities.
In a recent memo titled “Placement of Leave without Pay“, the airline asked most of its staff to go on unpaid leave due to delays in aircraft maintenance.
The memo underscored the challenges the airline is grappling with, especially with the indefinite grounding of their domestic operations.
Azman Air commenced its operations back in 2014 and has since been a notable name in the Nigerian aviation industry.