The chosen bidder for shares in the new Nigerian airline Nigeria Air is a consortium led by Ethiopian Airlines, the nation’s aviation minister announced on Friday.
One of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign pledges in the 2015 election was the airline.
The new airline will be 49 percent owned by Ethiopian Airlines, 46 percent by the Nigerian Sovereign Fund, and 5 percent by the Nigerian federal government.
Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, told reporters that the Buhari cabinet was anticipated to approve the shareholding proposal in the following several weeks. According to him, Nigeria Air would have a $300 million initial capital and 30 aircraft by the end of four years.
Nigeria Air will begin by offering service between Abuja, the nation’s capital, and Lagos, its commercial hub, and will eventually add other routes.
“We are going to initially bring in six Boeing 737 aircraft and between the third and fourth year the airline will be able to acquire up to 30 aircraft,” Sirika said.
“Nigeria Air is a limited liability company that will have no government intervention,” he added.
To become a center for West Africa, Nigeria has been working to establish a national airline and improve its aviation infrastructure, which is currently thought to be a hindrance to economic growth.