Yesterday, the Federal Government impounded an Embraer 135 jet belonging to Flairjet, which is a UK-based operator, for violating the government’s restriction order on commercial flights coming into the country, contrary to the humanitarian operations approval given to it.

Captain Hadi Sirika, The Minister of Aviation, confirmed the development on his official twitter handle, stating that the flight crew was being questioned for possible maximum penalty for the offence.

“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, crew being interrogated. There shall be maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve!” Sirika said.

It has been reported that the airline which operates from Birmingham, UK, flew into the country from Cotonou and landed in Lagos on Sunday afternoon. The flight was reported to have flown in three passengers. The airline was initially given an approval earlier this month by the Federal Government, but upon landing it was discovered that the jet was carrying out commercial operations, rather than the humanitarian operations it had been approved for.

The entire crew was arrested and the aircraft was immediately impounded and towed to the Execujet hanger, where it is currently pending the conclusion of investigations, which are being carried out by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).