- SAHCO, MRS, Nigerian Sovereign Fund own 46%, FGN 5%
- To get three aircraft from Ethiopia to kick start operations
AFTER a series of grapevine confirmations and denials, Ethiopian Airline has been announced the preferred bidder for the Nigeria Air Project with 49% stake while it is joined with three Nigerian investors MRS, Skyway Aviation Handling Company(SAHCO) and the Nigerian Sovereign Fund (46%), with the Federal Government of Nigeria owning 5%.
According to Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika in a press briefing today in Abuja the consortium has been subjected to a due diligence process, after which the contract will be negotiated between the consortium and the FGN, leading to a Full Business Case, which will be expected to be approved Federal Executive Council (FEC).
He says the process is expected to take 6-8 weeks.
The Minister explained that the overall share capital of around US$300, will be provided by the preferred bidder that will launch Nigeria Air to its full size of 30 aircraft and international operation within the next two years and stressed that apart from the 5% share investment by FGN no further funding will be provided from that quarter.
Sirika during the briefing announced that Nigeria Air will be launched with three Boeing 737-800 in a configuration very suitable for the Nigerian market and will launch with a shuttle service between Abuja and Lagos to establish a new comfortable, reliable and affordable travel between these two major Nigerian Airports. Other domestic destination will follow thereafter.
He said a signature-ready contract has been finalized with Ethiopian Airlines for the three Boeing 737-800 with a 16 Business Class and 150 Economy Class configuration.
Sirika said,”All Executives have been approved by NCAA, the Air Transport License has been issued by NCAA, Nigeria Air (after having identified the first three aircraft) will now finalize all necessary Operation Manuals and then go through the inspection and approval process of NCAA.
“The money spent for the launch of Nigeria Air, for all the requirements to establish an AOC and be admitted starting an airline operation, is well within the 5% capital investment of the Federal Government of Nigeria, that will be overall needed to establish the National Carrier initially for the AOC approval and everything else required by stringent national aviation regulations, as prescribed in the FEC approved Outline Business Case (OBC).
“This OBC is the milestone for the preferred Bidder Consortium and has been met by the submitted business plan of the preferred bidder. It is the overall share capital of around US$300, provided by the preferred bidder that will launch Nigeria Air to its full size of 30 aircraft and international operation within the next two years.
“No further FGN funding will be provided above the 5% share capital of the next national Carrier of Nigeria, which was provided to launch Nigeria Air.” He said