Five days after Med-View Airline put on hold its service to London, the Nigerian flag carrier has suspended its Dubai operations till March.
The airline’s Managing Director, Mr. Muneer Bankole, who disclosed this on Monday, said the suspension was to pave the way for aircraft maintenance and refurbishment.
However, a source disclosed that the real reason for the suspension is not unconnected with developments with the airline’s foreign agents.
Med-View began the Dubai flight service on December 7, 2017.
“We have shut down Dubai operations till March 24 when our own aircraft B767-300ER returns from complete refurbishment in the UK. Passengers who have booked with us will be flown to their destination through interline arrangements,” he said.
Bankole also explained that the airline was not indebted to its ground handling partner in London as alleged, following recent challenges with its Europe operations.
He stated that the airline had paid £1.45m for services provided by the ground handler, Menzes, and had an outstanding of €37,000.
He said the airline had also paid €45,000 ahead, which could be accessed in case there was any default.
“The ground handling company has no basis for grounding our operations, as they could have accessed the security fund, which had been paid ahead,” he added.
Bankole lamented that airlines in the country were operating under very harsh conditions.
He said, “In this part of the world, it is difficult to compete with the big players on the other side. If you do not have the resources and support from the central bank to provide you dollars for your operations, there is no how you can survive.
“There is no place in this country or in this part of the world, where you have a basic maintenance repair overhaul facility, such that if anything happens to your aircraft, you can maintain it. There are no spare parts vendors who can provide you support in 24 hours; but in Europe, there are platforms working 24 hours.”
Bankole, however, stated that the airline would continue to maintain its Jeddah schedule every Thursday via Kano until the issue of biometrics, which had become a requirement, was resolved.