Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, has revealed that Nigeria Air would soon commence operations, but with a shuttle service between Abuja and Lagos.
During a recently-held media parley, where Sirika made this revelation, the minister, while noting that other domestic destinations would follow thereafter, also stated that the National Carrier would be launched with three Boeing 737-800 in a configuration very suitable for the Nigerian market.
His words: “The Request for Proposal (l) under the PPP act, governed by ICRC, is completed. After a careful, detailed and ICRC governed selection process, Ethiopian Airlines Consortium has been selected as preferred bidder, offering an owner consortium of 3 Nigerian investors MRS, SAHCO and the Nigerian Sovereign Fund (46%), FGN (Federal Government of Nigeria) owning 5% and ET 49%.
“The consortium has been subject to a due diligence process, after which the contract will be negotiated between the consortium and the FGN, leading to a Full Business Case, which will be expected to be approved Federal Executive Council. We expect this process to take 6-8 weeks.
“An interim Executive Team of highly skilled Aviation Experts has been working since FEB 2022 to set up all the necessary regulatory and industry requirements to launch the National Carrier. All Executives have been approved by NCAA, the Air Transport License has been issued by NCAA, Nigeria Air (after having identified the first three aircraft) will now finalize all necessary Operation Manuals and then go through the inspection and approval process of NCAA.”
What you should know about Nigeria Air
Launched with some fanfare at an international air show in London, United Kingdom (UK) in 2018, Nigeria Air would be 49% owned by Ethiopian Airlines, 46% by the Nigerian Sovereign Fund, and 5% by the Nigerian federal government.