THE planned launch of a new airline, NG Eagle with aircraft belonging to Arik Air may have reached an advanced stage as two rebranded aircraft belonging to the airline is due to arrive Nigeria after its livery change at Ethiopia Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO).
Spotted were two Boeing 737-7NGs one with tail number 5N-MJG on February 13, 2020 taking off after maintenance and a change of livery in Ethiopia arriving Lagos at 14:43 after a 5hour 33minutes flight.
NG Eagle, an airline floated by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) ‘Nigeria Eagle’ was incorporated as NG Eagle Limited RC: 1600277 on July 11, 2019, with a share capital of one billion.Read also: Arik Air set to be rebranded; renamed Nigeria Eagle
The shareholders are AMCON with 499.9 million, while the rest shares are held by other private investors.
The airline is also among the list of airlines seeking to obtain its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and is rumoured to have prepared former Aero Contractor’s managing director, Captain Ado Sanusi who left Aero in December 2020 as the pilot managing director.
It is said that with the arrival of its newly painted aircraft gotten from the Arik fleet, the airline may begin demonstration flights, and once it is granted AOC it would concentrate on domestic service.
Recall that in 2019, Managing director of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru made a call to the National Assembly and publicly after Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika started his national carrier drive arguing that it would cost less and be more economical to use the assets of the airlines under receivership to float the much vaunted national carrier. Read also: FG suspends project ‘Nigeria Air’
According to him, a new carrier would cost Federal Government a fortune, but Arik is already set and has enough aircraft and facilities that can be used to set up a new airline and if the government wants to.
This plea met stiff and immediate resistance from the Sirika who had in 2017 laid the foundation for Nigeria Air, which is yet to get an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) or take any concrete form despite promises that that would happen in 2018 which never did.
AMCON in one of its reactions to the new airline through Jude Nwauzor said AMCON had already approached the aviation authorities in the country seeking a license for an independent entity where all of its aviation assets would be transferred and efficiently managed (NG Eagle)
Statement read,“Following its mandate especially as it relates to the aviation sector of the Nigerian economy, it is public knowledge that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) had approached the aviation authorities in the country seeking a license for an independent entity where all of its aviation assets would be transferred and efficiently managed in a synergetic manner.
“The objective of AMCON’s intervention in the aviation sector is targeted at supporting the sector, given its importance, save thousands of jobs, make the aviation sector a catalyst for the growth of the Nigerian economy and recover the huge debt owed the Corporation by these aviation entities,” it ended