United Nigeria Airlines has successfully scaled the International Air Transport Association’s Operational Safety Audit.
At the presentation of the IOSA certificate to the airline in Lagos on Thursday, the IATA Manager, West and Central Africa, Dr. Samson Fatokun, commended the airline for successfully completing the rigorous audit processes which have made them at par with global airlines in terms of safety standards.
He emphasized that the airline must ensure it sustains the certification, stressing that some airlines who attained it before could not retain it.
Dr Fatokun said, “In two plus years of your operations, you are already there and at this level, it can be said, you adhered to the global safety standards at its best and that is a great achievement and we will like to congratulate you for achieving this and we would congratulate the team that worked, this is good and you should be proud of yourself.
“It is a great achievement but maintaining yourself there is even tougher and more demanding. We have had airlines go up and getting there and not be able to retain themselves there and you are blessed with a group of very experienced colleagues and we couldn’t have expected anything more than this and you have done very well.IOSA is an end and also a means in itself that you can use to go to a higher level and the IATA membership is much more.”
Nigeria, according to Dr. Fatokun, has the largest number of airlines in the IOSA registry in the whole of West Africa and United Nigeria Airlines joining is evidence of their commitment to safety standards.
“We have very few airlines in West and Central Africa region that is on the IOSA Registry at the moment and you are one of those few for an airline that is just coming less than two years of operation that is already there, that is very good and we hope you will be able to sustain that and that same determination will continue so that, you can keep up being there.
“In Nigeria, we have six airlines that are in the IOSA registry, it is by far the only country in Africa with this large number of IOSA member airlines, six in a single country, there is no country in Africa that can boost of that not even South Africa, we just want to congratulate the Nigeria operators,” Fatokun said.
Earlier, the Chief Operating Officer, United Nigeria Airlines, Maxi Okonkwo, said the airline was elated to have achieved one of its objectives to be internationally recognized especially in terms of safety.
He said, “When we started operations from day one, we made this part of our programme and our chairman then say that anything we need to do to be internationally recognized to be on IATA register we should do it within two years of our operations and I can tell you that we have achieved that exactly before two years of our starting operations.
“It involved visiting our ATO, the institution that trains our pilots, the audit team had to go there make sure that what we have written down is what is exactly happening. It was a very serious process, it opened our eyes to many things”.
“So it was a privilege, an honour and responsibility all put together that we managed to go through that and became successful. We also thank IATA and the audit team”.
“I must emphasize that it wouldn’t have been easy without the great work members of team United Nigeria did on this and the support of all stakeholders, the regulators, the ground services providers, etc.”