Image: Nigeria Air

Nigeria’s new national airlines, Nigeria Air, is set to take to the skies by May 29.

Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, said: “Operation of local and international flights will commence soon. Before the end of this administration, before May 29, we will fly.”

He added: “Negotiation meetings with the Ethiopian Airlines Group Consortium and the Federal Government of Nigeria is ongoing. Next step: Federal Executive Council approval of the Full Business Case.”

National airline

The west African nation has been without a flag-carrier for a decade and its government announced plans in 2018 to re-establish a national airline.

In recent years, the country’s airline sector has been populated by a group of relatively small operators. Frequencies between cities – an important factor in stimulating traffic – are typically low.

After a lengthy selection process, the Nigerian Government chose Ethiopian Airlines – the continent’s consistently most successful carrier – as its strategic equity partner, with a 49% shareholding in the new company. The Nigerian Government will hold just 5% of the new airline, with other Nigerian investors making up the remaining 46%.

Nigeria Air will be based out of Lagos.

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