Lufthansa Gets Presidential Reprieve Till January

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A
temporary reprieve has come the way of German airline, Lufthansa, as
indications emerged yesterday that President Goodluck Jonathan has allowed the
airline to resume its regular flights to Nigeria till January next year. Peoples Daily yesterday exclusively reported that
Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah,  terminated the MoU between
the Federal Government and the Lufthansa because of the failure of the airline
to fulfill its own side of the agreement. The airline consequently suspended its flights to
the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe
International Airport, Abuja.

According to a reliable source in the Presidency,
the president granted the extension to the airline to enable it pay the
outstanding N2.198 billion ($14.8 million), being debt owed from non-payment of
royalties to the Federal Government from its flight operations from 2009 to
October 2011.

The source disclosed that the extension also covers
the suspension  of royalty payments by the airline, which has remained
unpaid since 2009, and that Lufthansa would be allowed up till January, to fly
the 14 flight frequencies allowed by the subsisting Bilateral Air Service
Agreement (BASA).
The source disclosed that it is only after the
expiration of the grace period that a review of the Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) on the commercial agreement the FG entered into with German airline would
be done and only then would the fate of Lufthansa be known. 
It would be recalled that in May, Senate Committee
on Aviation ordered Lufthansa Airlines to pay to the Federal Government N2.198
billion ($14.8 million), being debt owed from non-payment of royalty to the
Federal Government from its flight operations from 2009 to October 2011 or face
sanctions.

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