The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has confirmed that the proposed national airline for Nigeria would be unveiled latest by December this year

Sirika, gave the assurance when the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Chidi Izuwah, presented to him the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the establishment of the airline in Abuja.

The minister, who hinted that the project would gulp$8.8million preliminary cost and $300 million as take-off cost, said that the presentation of the certificate was a demonstration of how far the project had gone,

According to him, the Federal Government will receive the first set of five airplanes for the airliner on December 19.

He said: “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 lunch. It was not clear whether an order has been made for the aircraft, but the minister in May met a team from Boeing in Abuja.

“At Farnborough International Public Airshow coming July 18, 2018 in London, we will unveil the name, logo, colour scheme, the structure and the type of airplane about the national carrier. We will also place the order for the aircraft at the event”, Sirika added.

While assuring that government will provide the initials funds for the airline to take off, the minister said government would ease out thereafter, adding that airline will be managed by private investors.

He explained that the airline would take advantage of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) that the country had with over 70 countries as well as the Africa Single Air Transport Market to compete favourably and profitably.

The minister also gave assurance that the national carrier would not constitute a threat to domestic airlines operating in the country.

Acting Director-General of ICRC, Chidi Izuwah
Acting Director-General of ICRC, Chidi Izuwah

The Director General of ICRC, Izuwah, said that the presentation of the Certificate of Compliance was an official green light to proceed with the procurement process.

By the arrangement on the national carrier, the Nigerian government is not fully funding the airline but promoting it under a Public Private Partnership, to ensure its standardized operations and management.