Finally, FG unveils name, logo of new national carrier

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Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has unveiled the name and logo of the new national carrier, Nigeria Air.

Recall that the federal government had announced last week that the country would be taking delivery of five new aircraft by December 19, 2018 in readiness for the launch of a new national carrier on December 24, 2018.

It will be exactly 15 years this year (December 2018) when Nigerians last saw or had the pride of flying on a national airline as the country’s erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo had in 2003 liquidated the previous state-owned carrier, then known as Nigeria Airways Limited.

Speaking on Wednesday in London at the ongoing Farnborough International Airshow, Sirika said the government will not own more than five per cent of the airline. “This is an important day for Nigeria. The largest economy in Africa, largest population, GDP of around half a billion dollars, and the only true aviation player in West and Central Africa,” he said.

“This will be a national carrier that is private sector led and driven. It is a business, not a social service. The government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it. The investors will have full responsibility for this.

“The Nigerian government will not own more than 5% (maximum) of the new national carrier. The government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it.

According to the minister, the airline will have flights on 81 domestic, regional and international routes.

The proposed airline which will gulp about $308.8 million is expected to commence operations in December 2018.

While about $8.8million of that amount is earmarked as pre-startup cost for the airline, the balance of $300million is projected as the final takeoff cost for the new airline.

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