Says negotiation ongoing with ET over modalities
By Prince Okafor
Amidst ongoing litigation concerning the new national carrier, Nigeria Air, the Federal Government has again insisted that operations will commence before May 29, 2023.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika made this disclosure at the 10th Aviation Stakeholders Forum yesterday, in Abuja.
Sirika, confirmed that the litigation was responsible for the delayed takeoff of the new airline initially proposed to commence operations December, 2022.
He also noted that domestic airlines were invited to invest in Nigeria Air but they declined because they did not believe in the project.
According to him, Ethiopian Airlines, ET, came up with a better proposal and were chosen as the preferred bidder because of the expertise it has shown and survived for a long time now.
“Negotiation meeting with the Ethiopian Airlines Group Consortium and the Federal Government of Nigeria is ongoing.
“Next step: Federal Executive Council approval of the Full Business Case.
“Operation of local and international flights will commence soon. Before the end of this administration, before May 29, we will fly,” he said.
Sirika also said the benefits Nigeria stands to derive from the establishment of the national carrier include a reduced capital flight from Nigeria, gaining the optimal benefit of BASA and SAATM and the development of an aviation hub.
He also said the national carrier would contribute to the nation’s GDP; facilitate hospitality and tourism; promote growth and development of the Nigerian Agricultural Sector and create jobs around the Agro-Cargo Terminals.
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