…To Launch Operations With 3 Boeing 737-800 Aircraft
… As Ethiopian Airlines Owns 49% Stake
…Consortium Of 3 Nigerian Investors MRS, SAHCO, Nigerian Sovereign Fund 46 %
…Federal Government of Nigeria 5%
The Controversial National Carrier, Nigeria Air is to be launched with three Boeing 737-800 in a configuration that is very suitable for the Nigerian market.
This is just as Ethiopian Airlines; Africa’s largest airline, has been named as the preferred bidder in the Nigeria Air project.
The Ethiopian Airline Consortium, he said, got a combined score; Technical and Financial Bid) of 86.7 per cent to emerge the preferred bidder.
This was made known at a press conference addressed by the Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika on the status of Nigeria and the PPP bidding Process in Abuja today.
Sirika hinted that Nigeria Air will launch its operation with a shuttle service between Abuja and Lagos to establish a new comfortable, reliable and affordable travel between these two major Nigerian airports, adding that other domestic destinations will follow thereafter.
The Minister said that the Request for Proposal (RFP) under the PPP Act, governed by ICRC has been completed.
He explained that after a careful, detailed and ICRC governed selection process, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Consortium has been selected as preferred bidder, offering an owner consortium of three Nigerian investors MRS, SAHCO and the Nigerian Sovereign Fund (46 per cent ), Federal Government of Nigeria(FGN )owning 5 per cent and Ethiopian Airlines 49 per cent .
According to him, “The consortium has been subject to a due diligence process, after which the contract will be negotiated between the consortium and the FGN, leading to a Full Business Case, which will be expected to be approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). We expect this process to take 6-8 weeks.”
Sirika said that an Interim Executive Team of highly skilled aviation experts has been working since February 2022 to set up all the necessary regulatory and industry requirements to launch the national carrier, adding that all the executives have been approved by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA,).
The Air Transport License(ATL) has been issued by NCAA and that Nigeria Air, after having identified the first three aircraft will now finalise all necessary Operation Manuals and then go through the inspection and approval process of NCAA.
The Aviation Minister disclosed that the money spent for the launch of Nigeria Air, for all the requirements to establish an AOC and be admitted starting an airline operation, is well within the 5 per cent capital investment of the Federal Government of Nigeria, that will be overall needed to establish the national carrier initially for the AOC approval and everything else required by stringent national aviation regulations, as prescribed in the FEC approved Outline Business Case (OBC).
This OBC, he said is the milestone for the preferred Bidder Consortium and has been met by the submitted business plan of the preferred bidder, adding that it has the overall share capital of about $300 million, provided by the preferred bidder that will launch Nigeria Air to its full size of 30 aircraft and international operation within the next two years.
He added that no further FGN funding will be provided above the 5 per cent share capital of the next national carrier of Nigeria, which was provided to launch Nigeria Air.