Nigeria’s national carrier to commence operations amid protest

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On Wednesday, Senator Hadi Sirika, the nation’s minister of aviation, guaranteed that Air, the country’s flag airline, will launch operations in early December 2022.

After meeting with the Senate Committee on Aviation, which airline operators boycotted, the Minister provided this promise to the Senate Press Corps during a meeting in the National Assembly.

There is no going back on the planned launch of the national carrier, insisted Sirika, who was present at the meeting with all heads of agencies under the Ministry of Aviation. She emphasized the national carrier’s benefits to the economy and society.

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Domestic airline carriers in Nigeria had previously opposed the initiative on the grounds that Ethiopian Airlines would become a major shareholder.

They attended the meeting in large numbers to voice their opposition to the strategy that let Ethiopian Airlines become a significant investor.

Hadi Siriki responded in response to inquiries about the incident by stating that Nigeria Air is a “Limited Liability Company owned by the Federal government and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as a legal organization.”

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“Nigeria Air is a firm that is registered and known to the laws of Nigeria and which, with the grace of God, will become the much-anticipated airline,” he stated.

By God’s grace, it will take place between now and December of this year. It will operate and fairly compete with all of those current airlines.

“No business is intended to be killed. The goal is to support the growth of all enterprises so they can serve the market and employ locals.

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The more the merrier, is the intention. When there are more persons conducting business, the one who does it best takes advantage and provides greater service, which benefits the public.

The strong competition will drive down ticket prices, boost people’s inclination to travel, encourage more people to fly, generate more revenue for the airlines, and provide more services to Nigeria if everyone is succeeding without showing any favoritism.

“The concept is excellent. It will be established, and it will be for the people, whether it is established by God’s grace or not,” he remarked.

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The domestic airline operators stated in their testimony before the committee that they are not against National Carrier but rather against Ethiopian Airlines as a significant shareholder with a 49% equity stake.

The President of Top Brass Aviation and former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Roland Iyayi, received resistance from domestic airline operators who stated that the initiative, as currently envisaged, is harmful to domestic operators.

“Ethiopia has no plans to help Nigeria develop. Ethiopia has long advocated against aviation colonization in Africa.

The National Carrier or Nigeria Air project, he said, “would be a good legacy if effectively implemented, but as it is currently envisioned, it will end up being legacy that will lead to the collapse of local carriers.”

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