Aviation minister , Hadi Sikira has announced Ethiopian airlines as core investor in proposed national carrier Nigeria Air with a 49% stake.
This follows the Ethiopian national carrier’s emergence as the preferred bidder following an invitation to bid for the ownership of Nigeria Air which was published in March.
The aviation ministry says it received a closed bid from the Ethiopian Airline Consortium in June, while other interested bidders failed to meet the deadline for bid submission.
Stakes in the National carrier include an owner consortium of 3 Nigerian investors MRS, SAHCO and the Nigerian Sovereign Fund with a 46% stake, the federal government 5% and Ethiopian airlines 49%.
The minister says the consortium has been subject to a due diligence process, after which the contract will be negotiated between the consortium and government, leading to a Full Business Case to be approved by the Federal Executive Council.
The process is expected to take between six to eight weeks.
The minister says the National Carrier, is soon to be being launched with three Boeing 737-800 aircrafts, which are suitable for the Nigerian market.
The launch will take effect with flight services between Abuja and Lagos to establish affordable travel between the two major Airports. Other domestic destinations are to follow thereafter.