Left: Director of Administration, United
Nigeria Airline (UNA), Mr. Linus Awute; Chairman, UNA, High Chief
Obiora Okonkwo; Chief Operating Officer, UNA, Mazi Osita Okonkwo and
Director of Flight Operation, UNA, Capt. Chimara Imediegwu, during the UNA Press Conference with Aviation Correspondents on Operation of the
Airline at Murtala Mohammed Airport Ikeja Lagos today, Wednesday 14-04-2021.
The management of United Nigeria Airlines has disclosed that the airline has airlifted 25000 passengers in four weeks.
Disclosing this during a press briefing with aviation correspondents today, April 14 in Lagos, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of United Nigeria Airlines, High Chief Obiorah Okonkwo stated that the airline airlifts 3200 passengers every week.
High Chief Okonkwo said he wants the airline to be an employee invested company.
He disclosed further that the airline has applied to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, to acquire land at its operational base in Enugu to build a Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul facility for the maintenance of its aircraft and that of other airlines.
According to him, this will save United Nigeria Airlines and others domestic airlines of the much needed foreign exchange.
He said the airline has given itself 24 months to begin C Check in Enugu with support from its foreign technical partners once FAAN allocates land to them.
United Nigeria Chairman said the airline is hoping to increase its fleets in two to three months time.
Chief Okonkwo stated that the airline has its medium term plans to consolidate on its domestic operations with its 50 seater capacity ERJ 145 aircraft and later expand to regional flights with more wide body aircraft.
He said the airline is happy so far with the responses from the passengers, adding that the airline carried full load on its first day of operations.
United Nigeria Airlines boss noted that the airline with its vision of flying to unite Nigeria wants to be an organisation with integrity and transparency.
Obiorah said his vision is to ensure that the airline is a fully owned Nigerian airline and operated wholly by Nigerians.
He added that the airline has assembled a great team to pilots its affairs.
To us at United, team work, staff welfare, family spirit are very important to what we are doing, he said.
He noted that about 50- 60 per cent of its staff are having their first time experience in the aviation industry, adding that the more aircraft the airline acquires, the more staff it will employ.
Obiorah said the airline sent some pilots for training to South Africa who were caught up with the Covid 19 pandemic for eight months.
He called for cooperation among the domestic airline operators in the country, pointing out that the airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with some operators on cooperation.
He emphasised that there should be synergy in the industry even possibility of mergers.
United Nigeria Airline boss advocated for a special forex window for the aviation industry to keep the airlines and industry alive.
He noted that the high cost of aviation fuel is a thing of concern to the airline operators, maintaining that the airline which started buying fuel at N160 is now buying above N270.
High Chief Obiorah Okonkwo was accompanied on the briefing by Captain Chimara Imediegwu, Director of Flight Operations; Mr. Tolase Idowu, Manager Flight Operations, Captain Lawali Abubakar, Training Captain, Ms. Morounke Babalola, manager Cabin Crew, Engr Alex Iheuwa, Director of Engineering and Maintenance, Mr. Dare Fatiregun, manager Quality and Safety, Mr. Linus Awute, Director of Administration, Mazi Osita Okonkwo, Chief Operating Officer/Executive Director, Ms. Barbara Dan-Asemah, Training Manager and Mr. Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, the airline’s spokesman.