Thursday, June 13, 2024

Nigeria Air to conquer the sky in September courtesy of Ethiopian Airlines


Ethiopian Airlines announces it is planning to commence flights of Nigeria’s national airline, Nigeria Air on September 2023.
According to Ethiopian Airlines CEO, MesfinTasew, despite facing a number of challenges, the airline has not backpedaled from starting operations, “We are preparing and if things go smoothly we are planning to start air Nigeria flights on September. If we face slight delays, we may go until October.”
“We are facing several challenges and hassles of which I believe, it will be ironed out soon,” said the CEO.
Nigerian government had in September 2022 announced Ethiopian Airline as the preferred bidder for the technical partnership on Nigeria Air.
The airline will be a joint venture between Ethiopian Airlines and three Nigerian investors, with Ethiopian Airlines holding a 49percent share a majority controlling stake, Nigerian investors 46 per cent, and the Federal government 5 per cent share.
After being awarded by the government of Nigeria last year, Ethiopian Airlines has started discussions to set up a Nigerian flag carrier which was founded in 1958 and ceased to operate in 2003.
Nigeria air’s official launch was unveiled on May 26th to which the Nigerian government believe the partnership will ensure the success of Nigerian air. However, private carriers within Nigeria were not happy with this arrangement and went to court claiming this new airline would affect their business.
Nigerian airlines composing the Airlines of Nigeria (AON) are pushing back against the large stake that Ethiopian Airlines will hold in Nigeria’s new flagship carrier Nigeria Air. The AON believes the Nigerian flagship carrier should be wholly owned and operated by Nigeria nationals and took the case to Court. The suit, filed on November 11, 2022, opposed the proposed partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and the Federal government of Nigeria, where ET became a majority shareholder in Nigeria Air with a 49% stake after being selected as the preferred bidder to establish the Airline. The court case hindering Nigeria Air’s start involves a group of smaller Nigerian airlines that filed a suit, resulting in a temporary order to suspend the establishment of Nigeria Air.
Ethiopian Airlines has already established a committee to oversee the preparations, and has started the process of obtaining an Air Operator’s Certificate from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
Nigeria Air would have an initial capital of USD 300 million and plans to have 30 aircraft within four years. Additionally, Ethiopian airlines owns stakes in several other airlines, including 45% in Zambia Airways, 49% in Guinea Airways, 100% in Ethiopia-Mozambique Airlines, 49% in Chad Airlines, and 49% in Air Malawi.
It is well known that Ethiopian Airlines has been working with the government of Nigeria for nearly five years to establish a flag carrier for the West African nation.

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