Ethiopian Airlines to establish international carrier for Nigeria


Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it has been meeting with the Federal Government and private sector players on plans to establish an international carrier for Nigeria.

According to the airline, the lack of a national carrier in Nigeria that could compete favourably with other international brands was not good for the country and for Africa.

While talking to newsmen, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, made it known that the non-existence of an indigenous airline in Nigeria fully involved in international operations was a big threat to the aviation sector in Africa.

Responding to a question on why he was in Nigeria, Gebremariam said, “We have been discussing and exploring possibilities to establish or support a strong airline in Nigeria. I don’t mean that there is no strong airline in Nigeria, but we want an airline that can satisfy the demand of the domestic market, the regional market and international market.

“We are also in talks with Ghanaian government to establish Ghana Airways but the biggest market which is Nigeria has been a challenge to be honest with you. We make sure that when we start something, we start professionally and make sure that it succeeds.”

Gebremariam observed that since Nigeria Airways stopped operations, there had not been a very strong airline in Nigeria that had the capacity to compete effectively with other large international carriers.

He said, “Nigeria is a very large country but unfortunately, since the demise of Nigeria Airways, we are unfortunate that we don’t have a strong carrier. So, this concern is part of continental concern because in Africa, non-African carriers have the biggest shares. It is around 80-20 ratio. 80 per cent of the traffic between Africa and the rest of the world is carried by non-African carriers.

Gebremariam also made it known that the establishment has been successful in African countries like Togo and they want the same in Nigeria.

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