Nigeria And Ethiopian Airlines In Talks Over Proposed New Nigeria Airways
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Transport, Senator Hadi Sirika is bullish on making the return of Nigeria Airways a reality.
After clearing the concession hurdles, he is now seeking partnership with Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airways to make the national carrier a reality.
Bloomberg reported that the Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise, Tewolde GebreMariam, held talks with Senator Sirika, about the proposal on Tuesday at the Farnborough air show in England.
The Federal Government had said earlier this month that a new airline would begin operations this year, with the name to be revealed at the expo.
Tewolde, who spoke in London, said he expected to face competition over the Nigerian project from Qatar Airways, which has stakes in carriers, including British Airways owner, IAG SA, and Latam Airlines Group SA, the biggest South American operator.
Nigeria said last week that its planned national carrier would be unveiled on July 18 (today). The airline will be run as a public-private partnership and should become profitable in three years, according to the government.
Sirika tweeted Tuesday from Farnborough that he had held talks on sourcing jets from Airbus SE and planned to meet with Boeing Co. and other suppliers.
Nigeria's aviation has a history of so many failed airlines.
Former flag-carrier, Nigeria Airways, collapsed in 2003, with successor Air Nigeria, founded as a joint venture with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, folding in 2012.
Private operator, Arik Air, was taken over by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria last year, leading long-haul flights to be suspended.
It remains to be seen if Sirika’s new arrangement will be any different.
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