Speaking at the occasion, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, who assured Nigerians of safety in the air space, said that their aircraft and personnel were in perfect shape as he expressed satisfaction with the project.
Badeh said the newly acquired aircraft, a United Airline Boeing 737-500, was under a joint partnership between the Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services of the Nigerian Air Force Holding Company (NAFHC) and Solicom Engineering Nigeria Limited, a product of Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
He said, “I am so glad with this aircraft; every Air Force personnel contributed to it and it is the first of the series of aircraft that the force plans for carrying troops.” He said its purchase would not deny the patronage of C-130 and others in its hanger.
Earlier in her speech delivered by the new Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila Numa, the Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, said that with the coming on board of the Boeing 737-500 series, it was hoped that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) would build its airlift very soon since it has the capability to do so.
The aircraft is expected to begin operations with the initial client base of mainly Armed Forces, Police and other para-military force. The aircraft would also be available for charter.