One of the two Boeing 737-7NGs on arrival on Saturday
All the rumours concerning the plan by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) setting up a company, which would help manage its entire aviation portfolio may soon crystalise with the arrival on Saturday (February 13, 2021) of two Boeing 737-7NGs airline fully branded NG Eagle.
We learnt that the livery of the new entrant into the Nigerian airspace were changed at Ethiopia Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) and represents the first two planes from the many that would still join the fleet. It is learnt that NG Eagle airline may have as much over ten aircraft in its fleet in the shortest possible time.
Our correspondent on spotting the aircraft on arrival called Jude Nwauzor, Head, Corporate Communications Department of AMCON for comments without result. WhatsApp message sent to Nwauzor was also not responded to as at the time of filing this report. But the spotted aircraft, which are neatly parked at domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos were two Boeing 737-7NGs. They arrived in Lagos at 14:43 after a five-hour 33minutes flight.
NG Eagle, an airline floated by AMCON was incorporated as NG Eagle Limited RC: 1600277 on July 11, 2019, with a share capital of one billion. The shareholders are AMCON with 499.9 million, while the rest shares are held by other private investors.
The airline is also among the list of airlines seeking to obtain its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and is rumoured to have prepared former Aero Contractor’s Managing Director, Captain Ado Sanusi who left Aero in December 2020 as its pioneer Managing Director. It was also alleged that with the arrival of its newly painted aircraft, the airline may begin demonstration flights, and once it is granted AOC it would concentrate on domestic service.
It would be recalled that in 2019, Mr Ahmed Kuru, the Managing Director of AMCON, made a call to the National Assembly and publicly after Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika started his national carrier drive arguing that it would cost less and be more economical to use the assets of the airlines under receivership to float the much-vaunted national carrier. According to him, a new carrier would cost Federal Government a fortune, but AMCON’s aviation portfolio already has enough aircraft and facilities that can be used to set up a new airline and if the government wants to.
This plea met stiff and immediate resistance from the aviation minister who had in 2017 laid the foundation for Nigeria Air, which is yet to get an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) or take any concrete form despite promises that that would happen in 2018 which never did. AMCON in one of its earlier reactions to the new airline through its spokesperson said AMCON had already approached the aviation authorities in the country seeking a license for an independent entity where all of its aviation assets would be transferred and efficiently managed (NG Eagle).
The statement at the time reads, “Following its mandate especially as it relates to the aviation sector of the Nigerian economy, it is public knowledge that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) had approached the aviation authorities in the country seeking a license for an independent entity where all of its aviation assets would be transferred and efficiently managed in a synergetic manner.
“The objective of AMCON’s intervention in the aviation sector is targeted at supporting the sector, given its importance, save thousands of jobs, make the aviation sector a catalyst for the growth of the Nigerian economy and recover the huge debt owed the Corporation by these aviation entities,” it stated.