It has been circulating around news agencies that a Nigerian airline (not Arik Air) has been re-certified by the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), affirming its capacity to conduct flight and ground operations to international standards.
This brings to light the question of why Arik Air, the largest Nigerian airline with a modern fleet and wide domestic and international network, is not yet IOSA-certified. Possible reasons include the relative young age of the airline (just over three years old) and “teething challenges”.
In any case, an early certification can offers Arik Air numerous advantages including:
1- Membership in IATA (International Air Transport Association)
2- Universally accepted safety procedures and systems including proper documentation
3- Broader access to international code-share and partnership opportunities (Joining a global alliance is an example), giving Arik passengers a wider coverage directly from Nigeria
4- Audit reductions and cost-savings
5- Increased efficiency in operations and management systems
According to IATA’s website, there are over 310 IOSA-certified airlines globally, including 18 in Africa.
It is hoped that Arik Air will heed the calls of this blog and double efforts towards IOSA certification. The readiness of Nigerian aviation would be enhanced.