Aviation experts raise eyebrows on granting of AOC to tainted airline



The Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) decision to grant air cargo operations certificate (AOC) to a UAE-based airline company whose crew was banned in UAE for involvement in unauthorised flights to Syrian capital Damascus allegedly transporting ammunition, has raised fears in Pakistani aviation experts that such irresponsible attitude may invite international sanctions against Pakistan.
The company, previously named as Aerospace Consortium FZE owned by two Indian Jaidip Merchandani and Nithin Merchandani, managed to get permission in 2008 under the banner of Rayyan Air. Then CAA director general Nadeem Yousafzai issued the AOC and also facilitated registration of the company’s freighter aircraft.
Reportedly, Pakistanis with dual nationalities are the front men of the Aerospace Consortium. In spite of investigating the matter, the CAA issued another AOC to Merchandani-owned AHS Air International, which is utilising Rayyan Air’s aircraft for restarting freighter services as a non-scheduled airline with possibility of commercial passenger service. The ICAO and UN can slap sanctions on Pakistan for granting AOCs to new applicants without adopting evaluation and security clearance procedures.
The CAA functions in accordance with ICAO regulations, which is an international civil aviation regulatory body adopted under UN Charter to regulate aviation safety in accordance with international laws. Granting permission to airlines registered in India and owned by their nationals, involved in regular scheduled operations, is no cause for suspicion, because Indian Civil Aviation is regulated by ICAO. However, responsibility for granting AOC lies solely with state granting such permission and credentials of owners is required to check before giving consent.
Issuance of an AOC to the company involved in illegal operations can have disastrous consequences for Pakistan’s aviation industry. The European Union has recently banned PIA. The Aviation Ministry should be aware that Pakistan is suffering on the hands of terrorists armed with latest weapons which are smuggled into the country with the connivance of corrupt people.


  1. Little Knowledge is a dangerous thing.
    After having gone through this news item, I truly lost all my faith in media as a credible source of information. Being an aviation professional and having close industry links, I can assure you that this all is far from truth.
    Rayyan Air is a fully owned , controlled and operated by Pakistani nationals and not any dual nationals. There is no Indian nationals who own its share or control its operations. The company had leased aircraft which were returned after the agreement expired , from UAE registered/ based company and not India registered. Pakistani law does not bar leasing of equipment from UAE based company even if it is owned by Indian nationals. As far as flights to Syria are concerned, that time there was no issue of carrying printing material to Syria. As soon as the company was advised by the concern authorities that certain quarters didn't want these flights to happen, the contract was terminated. With regard to carrying of weapon, Please wake up Mr Editor and stop throwing muck on people on just the hearsay as people may have their own score to settle.
    Mr Editor, it would have been better had you collected the facts and I am sure you didn't need to sensationalize this drama of Indian factor and carrying of weapons. Regarding involvement of Nadeem Yousafzai ex DGCAA, you may have your personal angle or interest to blackmail him, I can assure the only truth about him in this filth you have thrown is that his Name is Nadeem Yousafzai. Check who was DGCAA in 2008.
    Would you realize the damage you have done to the company’s reputation ?. Just carry out the search and know the company’s contribution for the projects it is carrying out in the national interest.

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