We Have Operated Flights Everyday Since February 2021, Says UNA COO

We Have Operated Flights Everyday Since February 2021, Says UNA COO

The Chief Operating Officer of United Nigeria Airlines (UNA), Mazi Osita Okonkwo says the airline has operated flights daily to its various destinations since February 12, 2021 that it started operations with an inaugural flight from Lagos to Enugu.

Okonkwo who stated this today during a press conference held to mark the airline’s third anniversary said the airline which started at a time the challenges of coid19 was still prevalent, now has 500 Nigerians as staff, with a high percentage working with UNA as their first jobs in life.

He said the airline was born in the midst of difficulties recounting that UNA crew that was supposed to come back from South Africa in 2019 returned in November 2020 because of the covid challenge.

“We have created additional 1,500 indirect jobs,” he said adding that in few weeks, “we will reach one million passenger mark.”

He said the airline is working on fleet and regional routes expansion and intends to cover every route in Nigeria and that there is already a commitment to lease two aircraft, having signed a deal with Embraer for another brand new aircraft.

“What we have on our Airbus is Damp Lease, which allows you to put your own crew in the aircraft,” he said.

Okonkwo who said UNA’s CRJ fleet is maintained in Morroco, called for expansion of MMA2 Lagos terminal to enable more space which he said is retraining, even though the airport terminal has adequate facilities provided to ease passenger movement.

He also identified very high charges as part of the challenges airlines are facing with MMA2 charging N7,000 per passenger and all state owned airports increasing their charges, while handling companies have introduced extremely high charges.

“The minimum cost of an airfare should be $US100,” he said.

“Our Bilateral Air Services Agreement is a great challenge to local operators. There is need to review the Open Skies Agreement,” he said.

“There is need for more supervisory oversight over other service providers in the industry,” he added.

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Albinus Chiedu

Albinus Chiedu is a journalist, aviation media consultant, events management professional, and author. He has practiced journalism since 2000.

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