Nigerian startup Rano Air (R4, Kano) has secured federal government approval to operate domestic flights, according to an announcement from a government spokesman.

Bashir Ahmad, special social media assistant to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, announced on Twitter that the airline had received the official nod for flights to/from Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Kaduna, Sokoto, Gombe, Yola, Maiduguri, and Asaba.

Neither the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) nor Rano Air was immediately available for comment.

The airline announced last month that it had secured four EMB-145LRs to start commercial operations before year-end while finalising its air operator’s certificate (AOC).

Founded in 2019, Rano Air re-applied for an air transport licence in January 2022, following its initial application in mid-2020 for permission to operate scheduled and non-scheduled passenger and cargo services within and outside of Nigeria.

Rano Air is owned by Kano-born oil billionaire Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi Rano, the executive chairman and CEO of holding company A.A.Rano Group.