At long last, the proposed national carrier, which have been a recurrent decimal in the life of this administration may be unveiled as soon as December 2018, if information from the office of the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, is anything to go by. Before now, roumour mills have laid claim to an alleged clandestine plan by the government to merge Aero and Arik airlines currently in the hold of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to create a national carrier. A claim, which both AMCON MD/CEO, Ahmed Kuru and the ministry of aviation had denied.
In a statement by the ministry’s Deputy Director, Media and Public Affairs, James Odaudu, the minister, according to the statement, made the commitment while receiving the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance from the Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Chidi Izuwa, in Abuja. The statement quoted the minister to have said, “There is no doubt that the issue of national carrier for Nigeria is very close to the hearts of both the government and the people, which is the reason it has taken the option of a Public Private partnership with the belief that it was the only way to deliver a national carrier that would stand the test of time.”
The minister, the report also stated expressed satisfaction with the way the Transaction Advisers had carried out their assignments with utmost diligence and timeliness and reassured that that the national carrier, once it begins operations would not only deliver world-class services to air travelers but would have world-class management team.
The proposed national carrier, it was further gathered will gulp USD8.8 million as preliminary cost and USD300 million as take-off cost and would be delivered to Nigerians on the platform of Public Private Partnership (PPP). “We will make the investments and follow the business plan through private sector management. We intend to get a 30 aircraft market in five years. But we will begin with five aircraft on the day of launch,” Sirika assured.
According to him, it would also take advantage of the Africa Single Air Transport Market and would be the best player if the government gets it right. “But if we don’t, it will become a threat to us. But I believe we are on the right track,” he said. The name, logo and brand colours of the new carrier is still being kept secret until formal launch.