- The Nigerian government has taken another significant step regarding the launch of Nigeria Air
- The latest decision comes two months after obtaining two operating licenses, bringing the country one step closer to having an Airline
- Nigerians were promised that the national carrier would be operational by June 2023, and a deal with Ethiopian Airlines could well it a reality
The federal government has taken another giant step toward the proposed mid-year 2023 launch date for Nigeria Air.
According to ThisDay, the Nigerian government has formally chosen Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) as a core investor and partner for the country's new flag carrier.
The deal includes a 49% equity share for the airline, joined by 5% from the government since the project is set to be private-public.
Details from the deal
According to The Cable, Ethiopian Airlines will not be investing cash but will instead leverage its technical prowess, an abundance of aircraft, and management skills to establish Nigeria's first flag carrier in years.
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While yet to be formally confirmed, an initial pool of pilots is set to arrive in Addis Ababa for basic training for certification on the Boeing 737NG.
However, the next few months will tell us more in terms of the Nigeria Air timeline for takeoff.
Other steps taken by Nigerian Air
Nigeria Air was created in 2018, and in June of this year, the airline received its Air Transport License (ATL) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), paving the way for the crucial Air Operators Certification (AOC).
The next step was to find a partner to run the airline, which has now reportedly been completed with the appointment of Ethiopian Airlines.
With a fleet of Boeing 737s and Dash 8s, Nigeria Air is expected to focus on domestic and regional flights in the first few months.
Pilots reportedly sleep on Air
In another development, a serious tragic incident was averted after pilots flying Ethiopian Airlines missed landing.
The pilots were reportedly asleep while approaching the airport, leading to panic among passengers.
Ethiopian Airlines have now decided to suspend the two pilots with further investigation to be carried out.