Nigeria Is Looking For A New National Airline

Nigeria Is Looking For A New National Airline

Many were shocked when Nigerian Airways folded, but now the Nigerian government is seeking a new dominant carrier to fly its national colors.

“What we are looking for is not a national carrier but it should be a dominant carrier. Whichever airline that they are hoping to be [the] national carrier is going to go the same way Nigerian Airways went, it will die a natural death,” Captain Dele Ore, President, Aviation Roundtable told CNBC Africa.

The domestic airline will have the privileges and preferential rights given by the Federal government for international operations. And, as the national carrier, it will dominate over some routes and bilateral agreements with foreign airlines.

“They have not established and explained to the world and Nigeria why Nigerian airways was liquidated. Staff who were pensioned from Nigerian airways were unpaid and they think they’ll be wishing them luck to succeed in whatever they are doing,” explained Ore.

When it was in operation, Nigerian Airways served as the country’s flag carrier from 1 October 1958 and went out of business in 2003. Wholly owned by the government, the airline’s operations were concentrated at Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

Currently, almost all the seven local carrier airlines are contending with funding woes, huge debt load and multiple charges. According to Ore, no matter how good the idea is, the government is going about it the wrong way.

“The government is not doing enough to encourage investments into this place. Rather, than doing that, they have some very hostile policies that make it very unattractive,” he said.

Said Ore, if there is going to be a strong carrier, it will have to emerge from the private sector as the government doesn’t run good enterprises.