FG Renames National Carrier From “Nigeria Airways” To “Nigeria Air”
The federal government has renamed Nigeria’s national carrier from “Nigeria Airways” to “Nigeria Air” 15 years after it was shut down.
This was disclosed when the airline was unveiled at Farnborough International Public Airshow in London on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.
While speaking at the unveiling of the airline on Wednesday, Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said it’ll create economic opportunities and jobs as it will be private sector-led and driven.
He noted that the Nigerian Government will not own more than 5% of the new national carrier and will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it.
He disclosed that 81 routes (domestic, regional and international) have been identified for the airline which is touted to promote Nigeria’s cultures and traditions.
He said, “This is an important day for Nigeria. Largest economy in Africa, largest population, GDP of around half a billion dollars, and the only true aviation player in West and Central Africa.
“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.
“This will be a National Carrier that is Private sector led and driven. It is a business, not a social service. Government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it. The investors will have full responsibility for this.
“The Nigerian Government will not own more than 5% (maximum) of the new National Carrier. Government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it.
“81 routes (domestic, regional and international) identified for now, for Nigeria Air, out of more than a thousand considered.
“We want to use this new private-sector-led airline to make a statement that, ‘Yes, Nigeria can do it!’ and we also want to promote our cultures and traditions. It will also create economic opportunities and jobs.
“We’ve been talking to Airbus and Boeing (and they’re present at this event) regarding the aircraft for Nigeria Air, and we will be making announcements very soon. We are currently negotiating.
“New terminals in Lagos and Abuja Airports will add 11 million passenger capacity in each of the two airports. Lagos currently does 8 million per annum (was built in 1979 for 200,000 passengers annually), while Abuja does 5 million.”
The new airline is scheduled to commence operations in December 2018.
Nigeria Airways originally commenced operations in August 1958 but was liquidated by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, in May 2003.