18 JUNE 2012
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The entire fleet of Air Nigeria was grounded last week for a short period to allow the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to audit the flag carrier, local media reported. The recently introduced Lagos – Gatwick flight continues to operate on a daily basis, the seven-hour flight operated by a two-class Airbus A330-200.
The audit of Air Nigeria comes shortly after the 3 June crash of a McDonnell Douglas 83 plane operated by local Dana Air, which killed all 153 passengers and crew on board and six persons on the ground.
The crash has raised concerns over the age and maintenance of the aircraft being operated by Nigerian airlines. “We have been working very hard to improve aviation in this country”, Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck told reporters. “This particular incident is a major setback for us... I will make sure that this will not repeat itself in the country”.
Questions have also been raised regarding Air Nigeria’s financial viability.
Besides Air Nigeria from Gatwick, Lagos is also served non-stop from Heathrow by Arik Airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. www.myairnigeria.com