The Federal Government has impounded an aircraft owned by a British company for conducting commercial flights operation into Nigeria amid COVID-19 lockdown.
This was announced on Sunday by Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, via official Twitter handle @hadisirika.
The Minister said the company, Flair Aviation, was given the approval to conduct humanitarian flights but was caught operating commercial flights.
According to Sirika’s tweet, while the aircraft remains impounded, the crew is currently being interrogated. He also threatened that there will be a maximum penalty.
“COVID-19. Flair Aviation, a UK company, was given approval for humanitarian operations but regrettably, we caught them conducting commercial flights. This is callous! The craft is impounded, the crew being interrogated. There shall be a maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve!,” Sirika said.
The Federal Government had earlier on May 27 shut down the airspace following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
The flight ban was recently extended by another month.
The extension of the flight ban was announced on May 6 by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha during the Presidential Task Force daily briefing on COVID-19.
He said the decision was based on the assessment and advice from experts of the aviation industry to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country