Nigeria has issued the air transport license and will launch a new national carrier before the end of 2022, Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika said on Tuesday.
“We have a team in place, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has issued the Air Transport License, and we are processing the Air Operator Certificate (AOC), which will lead to the start of the airline,” he said at a two-day Africa Public-Private Partnership Network (AP3N) investment program held in Abuja on Tuesday, according to news reports reaching here.
The national carrier will be run by a company in which the Nigerian government will hold a 5 percent stake, Nigerian entrepreneurs 46 percent, while “the remaining 49 percent will be reserved for yet-to-be assigned strategic equity partners”, including foreign investors, Sirika said in November last year.
Nigeria had a national airline as early as in the 1950s, which operated regional and domestic passenger services. Due to financial and operational challenges, Air Nigeria ceased operations in September 2012.
Sirika recalled that over 400 thousand Nigerians participated in choosing the name which was launched in 2018.
“The name is Air Nigeria, which of course, if you remember back in time, this was subject to national debate and 400,000 people participated, chose the name, the colour, the logo, everything and it was produced that time,” Sirika said.
“It was launched also in Farnborough as far back as 2018. So, the business case is a public document. It will be on our website, you can download it and we can give you copies. This airline will pick up and start, by God’s grace, on or before April 2022.”