Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Nigeria launches national carrier that it hopes will fly to China and India

Nigeria has released details of its new national carrier, Nigeria Air, which is due to be launched at the end of this year.

The Nigerian government will own no more than a 5 percent stake in the airline, which it is touting as “fully private sector led,” according to a tweet by Tolu Ogunlesi, a communications official.

Nigeria Air will begin by flying domestically in Nigeria and the broader West Africa region, aviation minister Hadi Sirika told CNBC via telephone on Wednesday. He added that the airline had looked at 81 potential destinations, including to China and India, to which it would expand routes “when the time is right.”

Sirika said that there was a “total absence of efficient air transportation” currently in Nigeria and across West Africa, and that the sector was not adequately serviced by private firms alone. He added that Nigeria Air was also designed to “provide employment for people.”
18/07/18 Justina Crabtree/CNBC