NIGERIA – A day after Aero Contractors announced the suspension of operations and placed staff on indefinitely leave, another national airline, First Nation, has closed business.

The National Civil Aviation Authority announced on Thursday that First Nation had been ordered to shut down for mandatory maintenance.

The director-general, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Muhtar Usman, said in a statement that the indefinite suspension of operations by the airline followed its engine replacement programme involving one of the aircraft in its fleet.

Mr. Usman said with another aircraft due for mandatory maintenance in line with NCAA’s regulations, the airline cannot continue its operations.

“In these circumstances, these airlines clearly cannot continue to undertake schedule operations, hence the inevitable recourse to self-regulatory suspension,” the NCAA boss said.

“It is against the Nigerian civil aviation regulations for airline operators to carry out scheduled commercial operations with only one aircraft.”

Mr. Usman, who said this was the same premise Aero Contractors was ordered to suspend its operations, said NCAA would not compromise safety and security of airlines operations in the airspace.

He said every facet of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations and Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) must be adhered to with due diligence.

He explained that everything had been put in place to continue ensuring compliance.

The First Nation could not be reached for comment for this story.

The decision came as the suspension of Aero Contractors’ took effect Thursday.

The airline had claimed it suspended flights due to the difficult business environment in the country. At least 1,400 staff of Aero have been placed on an indefinite leave.

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