COVID-19 flight ban violation: FG orders UK Airline to pay N1m fine

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….Nigerians call for review of relevant law

…. says penalty too small

A fine of N1million has been imposed on Flairjet, by the Federal Government, after the airline went against the regulations set by the Nigerian government.

The aircraft was impounded over a week ago, and the airline has been awaiting the judgement of the Federal Government.  This penalty of N1 million has been described by several Nigerians as too small which requires the review of relevant laws.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority may seize the operating licence of the charter airline, Flairjet, which violated the rules in Nigeria by illegally operating charter service instead of evacuation it got approval for a week ago.

The federal government has reported the matter to the UK government and it may lead to a temporary seizure of the operating license of the airline.

The Minister of Aviation Captain Haidi Sirika, confirmed the news on his personal Twitter account, and relayed information about the violation of law that took place. He said: “Flairjet were found to violate our Civil Aviation Regulations Implementation Standards 1.3.3(a) Table 2(IV)7(a) and IS 1.3.3(a)) Table 2 (VIII) (4). The maximum penalty for each is N500,000. We caused them to pay and reported their callous misdemeanor to UK CAA, MFA and the UK High Commission.”

Sirika revealed last week that a Legacy 600 charter jet with registration number G-ERFX belonging to Flairjet, an airline that operates from Birmingham airport, UK, came in from Cotonou and landed in Lagos at 12.13pm on Sunday, May 17, 2020 carrying passengers.

He said the company applied several times to operate humanitarian flights and that approval was given but it decided to operate commercial services, charging money and flying in and out of the country. The crew was arrested and aircraft was immediately impounded.

The pilots were quarantined for 14 days.

Comments gathered by Nigerian NewsDirect include Twitter@Magma11 which says that Hon Sirika please initiate  the review and amendment of the relevant laws. The fine for such a gross violation of our aviation law is damn too meagre. The penalty is not commensurate to this act of misbehavior”

Twitter at Kraft : Please Sirika, please initiate the review of this obsolete law. This should attract nothing less that N5million

Twitter @ Mallam Tafida says” Glad the maximum fines were applied but there is a clear need to revise the current laws and increase the penalties.

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