The government of Nigeria has officially launched a new national carrier, Nigeria Air. The move is the federal government’s attempt to revive a collapsed national flier, Air Nigeria.
The name and logo of the flier was unveiled in the United Kingdom at the Farnborough Airshow. Present was a high-powered government delegation led by the Minister of State, Aviation; Hadi Sirika.
Despite today’s announcement, it will not be until December this year before Air Nigeria’s first flight hits the skies. The carrier’s tagline is: “Bringing Nigeria closer to the world.”
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
The Bloomberg news portal has also reported that Africa’s most successful airline, Ethiopian Airlines, was in talks to have a stake in Air Nigeria.
Abuja announced in 2017 that it was investing about $5m (£3.8m) to build a new national airline. The last one Nigearia Airways ceased operations over a decade ago.
“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,” Mr Sirika said.
The minister also stressed that government would have a maximum stake in the airline: “This will be a national carrier that is private sector led and driven.
“It is a business, not a social service. The government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it. The investors will have full responsibility for this,” he added.
By Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, africanews.com