United Nigeria Airline to begin regional flights before yr end

fcec flight
fcec flight


From Fred Itua, Abuja

Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of United Nigeria Airline, Osita Okonkwo, on Wednesday, said the Airline would commence flights to African countries before the end of 2023.

Okonkwo told newsmen that all necessary documents and approval had been made and the Airline has commenced engagements with the Civil Aviation Authority of various African countries for final approval.

He spoke on the sideline of United Nigeria Airlines Station Managers Retreat. Okonkwo said commencing regional flight is a process and the Airline is following it step by step to achieve it before the end of the year.

He said: “It is a reality that is going to happen very soon. In keeping with our strategy, we started with Nigeria, next is the region which is West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa and South Africa.

“We have done all the processes, the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification is a necessary requirement, we get into IATA registry and membership, now we have been designated to operate a number of routes.

“IOSA is a globally recognised standard under which every airline has to operate, it involves all aspects of the airline business including organisational, operational, safety, engineering, training, maintenance.

“Currently we are engaging the respective Civil Aviation Authorities to get the necessary approvals, because you must recognise that you have to talk to each and everyone of them, there is no centralised body that will give you approval to start flying all over Africa.

“So, it is a process, and we are hoping that in the next few months before the year runs out, you will hear a major announcement.”

Speaking on the importance of the retreat, the Airline’s Chief Operating Officer said the move by the airline to commence regional flight is one of the gains of the retreat.

He said Airline usually embarks on frequent meetings and engagements with its management with the aim of achieving steady improvement in its operation and services.

He noted: “You can see the impact, last year we didn’t have IOSA, and this year, we have IOSA, so basically, we were all primed, at times it is also about the competences you have, the skills and zeal you have to execute according to laid down procedures and standards.

“So, this is impacting consciousness, energising the team, getting them to be at the level of excellence that we want.

“So, everyday we see improvement, it is not only retreat, there are operational meetings everyday, there are team meetings, operational reviews weekly, there are management meetings, so what we say in United Nigeria Airline is that we are a learning organisation so, everyday is a learning opportunity, if we see a new idea, we make sure that it I internalised and implemented.”