For not meeting its safety standards, the European Union has banned Nigerian carrier, Medview Airline, and other airlines from Africa and other parts of the world from its airspace.
European Air Safety Agency (EASA) determines the airworthiness of aircraft and airlines allowed to operate in European airspace and gives certification to airlines from other parts of the world to operate into the region.
According to reports, Medview was one of those under the EU Air Safety List Annex A, which included a total of 181airlines banned from operating to Europe.
Out of the above number, 174 airlines were barred due to safety oversight by aviation authorities in their home countries.
But Medview Airline explained in a statement that it was not banned from operating to London; rather, it was asked to change its operating aircraft.
The airline said its operations to London is in no way affected by the ban and had since been operating with her wet-leased aircraft, adding that the ban which falls under exception rule in EASA, Annex A, where it states that “air carrier listed in Annex A could be permitted to exercise traffic rights by using wet-leased aircraft of an air carrier, which is not subject to an operating ban.”
The airline regretted the anxiety the misinformation might have caused its teeming passengers and assured them that there was no basis for alarm as the Lagos-London flight remains unaffected.
“We at Medview Airline are committed to safety, and currently working with EASA and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to restore normalcy,” the airline said in a statement.
The airline said on May 17, 2017 it operated normal schedule flight to London “amid the misinformation about the restriction.”
In March 2016, Medview Airline passed the International Air Transport Association (IATA), after which it was issued with IOSA – International Operational Safety Audit certification.
The airline said it had secured a B777 aircraft leased from an EU-member state to boost its international operations, which would soon join the fleet.
The EU Air Safety List is a list of non-European airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union.
In the updated version, all air carriers from Benin Republic and Mozambique were removed from the list, while four individual airlines, one each from Nigeria, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe were added.
An operator in the industry whose airline recently stopped flights to London told THISDAY that besides the safety reasons, EU often bans airlines from largely third world countries to allow only airlines from Europe to operate to Africa, some parts of Asia without corresponding flights from indigenous airlines.
“With that they have all the passengers to themselves and they set the fares and determine the traffic. Our governments do not fight back by banning them in response because they do not understand the world aero politics. There was a time Eurocontrol wanted to ban Arik and Medview, alleging the airlines owed so much money but we understood that it was a plot to stop us from operating to London but we quickly settled them, giving them no reason to stop our flights. Air fares went down when Arik and Medview started operating to London. Now British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have the London route for themselves,” the source said.