Nigeria’s new carrier to begin operations in December 2018 will be known as Nigeria Air, Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, revealed in London on Wednesday.
Sirika unveiled the name and logo of the new national carrier at the ongoing Farnborough International Airshow, saying the carrier is private sector-driven, and is therefore a “business” rather than a “social service”.
He also said the government will not own more than five per cent of the airline, and will therefore not be directly involved in its running.
“This is an important day for Nigeria. The largest economy in Africa, largest population, GDP of around half a billion dollars, and the only true aviation player in West and Central Africa,” he said.
“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. The 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. The government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it.”
Sirika also explained that the new terminals in Lagos and Abuja Airports will add 11 million passenger capacity in each of the two airports, while the airline will have flights on 81 domestic, regional and international routes.
Nigeria’s previous carrier, the Nigeria Airways Ltd., was founded in 1958 after the dissolution of West African Airways Corporation (WAAC) but ceased operations in 2003.