FIA18: Nigeria unveils plans for new national carrier

posted on 19th July 2018 by Justin Burns
FIA18: Nigeria unveils plans for new national carrier

The government of Nigeria has revealed the branding and livery for a new national flag-carrier Nigeria Air at the Farnborough International Airshow.

The previous state-run airline Nigerian Airways ceased operations 15 years ago. Nigeria Air is set to be operational in December this year.

Nigeria Air is set to have mixed fleet of 30 Airbus and Boeing aircraft by 2023 and the government has been holding talks with Boeing and Airbus at the airshow.

Plans are for 81 routes (domestic, regional and international) which have been identified now out of more than a thousand considered.

Nigeria minister of state for aviation, Hadi Sirika 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.”

He said the Nigerian Government will not own more than five per cent (maximum) of the new national carrier and the government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it.

Sirika added: “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.

“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.”

Sirika said new terminals in Lagos and Abuja airports will add 11 million passenger capacity in each of the two airports. Lagos currently does eight million per annum (was built in 1979 for 200,000 passengers annually), while Abuja does five million.

The branding and naming of the new national carrier follows a social media campaign undertaken by the ministry of aviation which invited Nigerian youth and students to help create it.

Sirika concluded: “Following extensive market research, the branding of our new airline, Nigeria Air, demonstrates a true flag carrier of our nation, soaring through the skies in the shape of our nation’s eagle.”