Rano Air (R4, Kano) has announced it is set to commence full commercial operations after having secured its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

In a statement on social media, the company said it was certified to provide scheduled passenger and cargo services, and charters.

The NCAA and Rano Air were not immediately available for comment.

According to the ch-aviation fleets ownership module, Rano Aor owns five EMB-145LRs.

In a video posted on social media, NCAA Director General and Chief Executive Officer Musa Nuhu confirmed the regulator had issued the AOC to Rano Air, permitting them to start operations in Nigeria after the startup completed the five phases of the regulatory process and met all the requirements. He said the AOC process had taken more than two-and-a-half years as the Covid-19 pandemic had delayed the procurement of aircraft by about a year. "I'm sure they will tell you it has been a painful process sometimes. To start an airline is not an easy business. It takes a lot of resources, a lot of business know-how, a lot of technical know-how, and a lot of requirements. They have met all these requirements thoroughly, we have given them their AOC, and we hope they will grow to become a big airline in Nigeria," he said. Referring to the company's E145LRs, he believed the new airline would do well. "We are confident they will do well from what we see on the ground."

Asked about the start date, he said: "They are free to start operations when they are ready to start, whenever Rano Air is ready to start operations. I believe they may have one or two logistics to put in place, [but] it's up to them, they are ready to go."

Rano Air has made no announcements on the launch date and the booking engine on its website has not yet gone live, ch-aviation found.

In December, a government spokesman announced the carrier had received permission for services to/from Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Kaduna, Sokoto, Gombe, Yola, Maiduguri, and Asaba.