Nigeria Air To Start Operations October With 12 Boeing Planes

Posted on August 4, 2023

The proposed Nigerian flag carrier, Nigeria Air will be operating by October this year according to reports from Bloomberg.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mesfin Tasew noted that the firm is eager to see Nigeria Airlines start flying local and international routes.

According to Tasew, the airline will begin operation with two wide-bodied planes and six narrow-bodied aircraft.

In his words, “We are eager to see the airline start flying and connecting the local market to the international market”

On the management of the airline, the CEO said Ethiopian Airlines will manage it stating it is a proven model and the objective is to enable Nigeria to have a flag carrier.

He said, “The prime objective is to enable Nigeria to have an air carrier. Ethiopian Airlines will have a management contract. Effectively, Ethiopian Airlines will manage the airline to be successful.”

He also noted that Ethiopian airline owns a 49% stake in the airline, the Nigerian government 5% together with other institutional investors.

Tasew also commented on the difficult business environment in Nigeria but expressed optimism based on the size of the Nigerian economy and the potential inherent in it.

In 2022, Ethiopian Airlines won the bid to handle operations of the proposed Nigeria Air in controversial circumstances after local players complained the company was handed an advantage during the bidding process.

Nigeria Air was unveiled at an event in London in 2018 in view to resuscitate the defunct Nigeria Airways crumbled due to corruption and mismanagement.

Earlier in May 2023, Nigeria’s former Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika launched the Air carrier less than three (3) days before the end of his administration.

Sirika was quoted saying during the unveiling “Operation of local and international flights will commence soon. Before the end of this administration, before May 29, we will fly,”

However, a few days after the launch, Sirika was reported saying the aircraft unveiled during the launch does not belong to Nigeria Air but is a carrier of Ethiopian Airlines.

Nigeria Airlines is owned by Ethiopian Airlines (49%), the Federal government (5%), SAHCO (15% ) and 31% owned by others.

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