The new national carrier, Nigerian Air, will begin operations by October this year according to reports from Bloomberg.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mesfin Tasew noted that the firm is eager to see Nigeria Airlines start flying local and international routes.
According to Mr Tasew, the airline will begin operation with two wide-bodied planes and six narrow-bodied aircraft. In his words, “We are eager to see the airline start flying and connecting the local market to the international market”
On the management of the airline, the CEO said Ethiopian Airlines will manage it stating it is a proven model and the objective is to enable Nigeria to have a flag carrier.
He said, “The prime objective is to enable Nigeria to have an air carrier. Ethiopian Airlines will have a management contract. Effectively, Ethiopian Airlines will manage the airline to be successful.”
He also noted that Ethiopian airline owns a 49% stake in the airline, the Nigerian government 5% together with other institutional investors.
Mr Tasew also commented on the difficult business environment in Nigeria but expressed optimism based on the size of the Nigerian economy and the potential inherent in it.
Ethiopian Airlines 2022 won the bid to handle operations of the proposed Nigeria Air in controversial circumstances after local players complained the company was handed an advantage during the bidding process.