Yesterday, it was announced that Nigeria had plans to launch a national carrier identified as Nigeria Air. Learning from the mistakes of the past, this time, Nigeria Air is expected to be backed by a foreign investor with airline industry knowledge and the cash to establish the airline.
While some may argue the majority shares should be owned by the country, Tilmann Gabriel who is involved in the project according to Bloomberg, has no reservations with any overseas bodies being majority owners in the national carrier.
Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika have held talks with Ethiopian Air and Qatar Airlines executives and while minimal advancements have been made, it is being reported that other operators remain interested, in the airline expected to have a fleet of 30 aircrafts and operate 80 routes within the next four years.
Nigeria Air expects to take off for the first time on the 15th of December operating a fleet of 15 leased aircrafts while plans have been put in place to purchase new planes from Boeing Co and Airbus SE. The initial flights are expected to all originate and end on the African continent while intercontinental services should begin in the middle of next year.
Ethiopian Air Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam said in an interview on Tuesday that some interest exists from his airline who continues to look to expand its tentacles across the continent.