The Federal Government has announced the rebirth of the country’s national carrier, this time called Nigeria Air.
The Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika made the announcement at the Farnborough Airshow 2018.
Sirika revealed that the airline will be private sector-led and driven and the government will not be involved in its running.
The government will not own more than 5%, he revealed, and they have been talking to both Airbus and Boeing regarding the provision of aircraft.
He added that 81 routes – domestic, regional and international – have been identified for now, out of more than 1000 considered.
He also revealed that operations will begin December 2018. According to the federal government, Sirika said:
This is an important day for Nigeria. Largest economy in Africa, largest population, GDP of around half a billion dollars, and the only true aviation player in West and Central Africa.
Nigeria has unfortunately not been a serious player in Aviation for a long time. We used to be a dominant player, through Nigeria Airways, but sadly not anymore.
This will be a National Carrier that is Private sector led and driven. It is a business, not a social service. Government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it. The investors will have full responsibility for this.
The Nigerian Government will not own more than 5% (maximum) of the new National Carrier. Government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it.
81 routes (domestic, regional and international) identified for now, for
#NigeriaAir, out of more than a thousand considered.
We want to use this new private-sector-led airline to make a statement that, ‘Yes, Nigeria can do it!’ and we also want to promote our cultures and traditions. It will also create economic opportunities and jobs.
We’ve been talking to Airbus and Boeing (and they’re present at this event) regarding the aircraft for
#NigeriaAir, and we will be making announcements very soon. We are currently negotiating.
New terminals in Lagos and Abuja Airports will add 11 million passenger capacity in each of the two airports. Lagos currently does 8 million per annum (was built in 1979 for 200,000 passengers annually), while Abuja does 5 million.
#NigeriaAir is scheduled to commence operations in December 2018.