National carrier ‘Nigeria Air’ to begin operations with 20 petrol-aircraft
The Federal Government has announced delivery of nine new petrol aircraft for the national carrier fleet, Nigeria Air, for the start of the airline in December, out of 20 ordered.
Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this at a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Friday, assuring that Nigerian Air will start as earlier approved.
“The national carrier is in the works and we have advanced significantly just yesterday, Mr President in concluding the retreat has directed that this airline must work between now and December. And it will work by God’s grace.
“We have ordered 20 brand new training aircraft that use petrol. So far nine have been delivered. All these in the national carrier efforts,” he stated.
Sirika however said that the President Muhammadu Buhari had gave a marching order to ensure that the goal was achieved.
“I ran it through the system within the ministry and we commissioned some consultants to conduct a market survey and see where we are as an industry at that time. We set out to concession our airports not to privatise but to concession the airports.
“We also set out to put a proper airline the size, capacity, dynamics and the population and the markets and the complexity of the nation, Nigeria and also set out a leasing company and develop the cargo terminals and so on.
Explaining the reasons why the Federal Government should have a national carrier, Sirika stressed that they are giving every Nigerian the opportunity especially those in the aviation sector to participate in the airline so that the project can be workable.
At the meeting held at the National Assembly Complex, Gbajabiamila expressed concern over the project saying that some issues needed clarification.
“The issue of the national carrier is very important. It is something we are all paying attention to. We just want to make sure we get it right. There have been some misgivings. Some issues have been raised. But there are issues that need clarification,” he said.
He added that all efforts are intended to steer the project in such a way that it will be beneficial to the people through job creation and the government, as it will improve the nation’s GDP.