According to reports, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has granted Arik Air Third Country Operator (TCO) authorisation, which allows it to operate to any European country.
The airline made the announcement in a statement by its Communications Manager, Ola Adebanji, which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday.
The statement said the TCO authorisation was a requirement for all non-European Union registered commercial operators that fly to EU countries under the Air Operator Certificate (AOC).
It said: “An airline is given the authorisation after meeting stringent safety and security standards.
“The TCO is obtained from EASA after the agency has scrutinised the airline’s manuals and after the airline has scaled its regulations, which may include an interview.
“Only very few airlines have the authorisation in Africa and Arik Air is the only airline that has TCO in West Africa.”
According to the statement, this enables the airline to operate to any part of Europe, according to the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) the airline has with individual countries.
The statement quoted the Deputy Managing Director of Arik Air, Ado Sanusi, as saying that the airline could fly to all European member states with respect to BASA agreement with each country.
“This is a great achievement for Arik Air because it is a confirmation of the airline’s high operational standard and safety by such a renowned agency. With the TCO authorisation, Arik can overfly to any EU member state.
“Arik is the only airline in West and Central Africa that has the authorisation and it took the airline short time to attain this. I am aware that it took some major airlines a very long time to obtain this authorisation.
“Some of them made use of consultant firms to enable them pass the rigid examinations before they were given the authorisation,” Mr. Sanusi is quoted as saying.
The statement said the EASA TCO authorisation had further confirmed the high standard of the airline’s operations.