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Nigeria is set to launch a world class carrier airline.

More than a decade after liquidation of the Nigeria Airways, the healthy discourse on the possibility of a new national carrier has only underscored the significance of the quest and the need to balance best business practices with national interest.

Nigeria is set to launch a world class carrier airline via a public-private partnership before the end of 2018. The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika has confirmed that Nigeria’s carrier airline will launch before the end of 2018 via a public-private partnership.The intent is for the national carrier to have a fleet of 30 aircrafts in five years, but for a start, the country will receive a set of five airplanes on the 19th of December 2018.

The proposed airline will cost over $308 million; $8.8 million preliminary cost and $300 million as startup cost for over the next three years, the bulk of which would be contributed by the federal government. The rest will be contributed by an investor, a strategic partner yet unknown, with external capital input dependent on the profitability of the airline in the next few years.

“The airline will make profit in three years after operations,” Sirika said. “We will make the investments and follow the business plan through private sector management. Though you need that initial government financing for take off, what is important is that the national carrier will be entirely private sector controlled. There will be zero government interference. If that happens, it invalidates the certificate and the entire process,” he explained.

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