Embattled Nigeria Air (NWB, Lagos) faces a delay in its certification process after it failed to submit the required documents to proceed to the next stage in the five-phase AOC process.

In a June 2 letter seen by local media, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) reportedly informed the managing director of the nascent new national carrier that it could not proceed to the second phase for an air operator's certificate (AOC) as it failed to submit the required application form and other required documents. The NCAA also reminded Nigeria Air that its three-month "post holders letters of commitment" had expired.

"The Authority is in receipt of your letter dated 25th May 2023 on the above subject matter. Quite contrary to our earlier letter of 16th May 2023, which enumerated the documents to be submitted with the Formal Application Form OPS 002, your letter of request to proceed to Phase Two has no inclusion of a Formal Application Form and the necessary documents referenced in the Formal Application Form. Hence, the Certification Process cannot progress to Phase Two (2) without these required documents. Please be reminded that your Post Holders letters of commitment to Nigeria Air has a tenure of three (3) months and, as such, expires now," the letter is cited.

Finalisation of the 51/49 joint venture start-up between the Nigerian federal government and a consortium of Nigerian investors led by Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa International) is subject to a decision by the Abuja High Court after the five airline member Airline Organisation of Nigeria (AON) secured an interim interdict in November 2022, halting the start-up. The AON wants Nigeria Air's existing Air Transport License (ATL) revoked, and the AOC process stopped on competitive grounds over the ferry flight of Nigeria Air's first of three B737-800s provided by preferred bidder Ethiopian Airlines for the start-up's AOC audit. ET-APL (msn 40965) was ferried to Nigeria in late May ostensibly as part of Nigeria Air's audit. However, it has since returned to service for Ethiopian and had its new Nigerian livery decals removed.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on June 6 was expected to launch an investigative hearing on the launch of Air Nigeria, by the former administration led by Muhammadu Buhari. The hearing was scheduled to start on June 5 but was postponed following the late arrival of the committee chairman Nnolim Nnaji.