FG Appoints Lufthansa, Five Other Advisers on Establishment of National Carrier
FG Appoints Lufthansa, Five Other Advisers on Establishment of National Carrier – Long road to national carrier, National airlines are a country’s brand to the world, The waning importance of the ‘national carrier’, What is a national carrier and why is this status important, We’ll establish national carrier before concessioning airports, Ghana,Nigeria step up national carrier process, Tourism: Politics and Public Sector Management. These are all important facts related to the importance of a national carrier, especially Nigeria.
Let’s see what Nigerian Airway is, the way and manner it has been trouble-shooted all these years, and the appointment of Lufthansa and 5 other airlines to advice on establishment of yet another National carrier for Nigeria. In this website there has been national economic topics on the ease of doing business in Nigeria, the role of industrial relation in economic development etc.
As a matter of fact,one of the barriers to economic growth in Nigeria is none existent of a national carrier. Nigeria Airways Ltd., more commonly known as Nigeria Airways, was a Nigerian airline. The company was founded in 1958 after the dissolution of West African Airways Corporation. It was wholly owned by the Government of Nigeria, and served as the country’s flag carrier until it ceased operations in 2003. The airline was managed by a number of foreign companies, including British Airways, KLM and South African.
Plagued by mis-management, corruption, and window dressing of its accounts, at the time of closure the airline had debts of more than US$60,000,000 (equivalent to $78,115,051 in 2016), a poor safety record, and its operative fleet comprised a single aircraft flying domestic routes as well as two leased aircraft operating the international network. It was succeeded by Virgin Nigeria. At the time of dissolution, the company’s headquarters were at Airways House, located in Abuja.
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The carrier ceased operations in 2003 and was liquidated a year later. The Nigerian government later came to an agreement with Virgin Atlantic Airways to found Virgin Nigeria Airways, intended as a replacement, yet the ground facilities of the folded Nigeria Airways were eventually taken over by Arik Air.
Air Nigeria (originally Virgin Nigeria Airways, and then Nigerian Eagle Airlines), was the national flag carrier of Nigeria, which operated scheduled regional and domestic passenger services. The airline’s base was Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Ikeja.
The airline, which effectively replaced the defunct Nigeria Airways, was founded in 2004 as a joint venture between Nigerian investors and the Virgin Group. Virgin withdrew from the business during 2008-2010, and, following two name changes, Air Nigeria ceased operations on 10 September 2012. On 9 January 2009, Virgin Nigeria announced they would suspend all long haul flights to London Gatwick Airport and Johannesburg, effective 27 January 2009.
Finally, on 17 September 2009, Virgin Nigeria announced on their website they had rebranded as Nigerian Eagle Airlines. Nigerian Eagle Airlines also stated that they planned to focus on domestic and regional flights with further expansion into Europe and eventually the United States of America. Virgin retained its 49% stake in the new Nigerian Eagle Airlines with the remaining 51% held by Nigerian investors.
On 2 June 2010, following the acquisition of a majority share in the airline, Jimoh Ibrahim, the new Chairman, announced that the airline had undergone a further name change to Air Nigeria Development Limited, branded as Air Nigeria. On 13 June 2012, the carrier was grounded by regulators for safety checks.
On 6 September 2012 Air Nigeria announced that the management had fired its staff ‘for being disloyal’ and the airline will cease all its local, regional and international operations. Operations ceased on 10 September 2012.
Consequently, on Wednesday this week, the federal government announced through its Minister of state for Aviation that it has appointed advisers to help it set up a national airline and develop its aviation infrastructure – currently seen as a barrier to economic growth – to create a hub for West Africa.
Sirika said a group of six firms including German carrier Lufthansa would advise the government on setting up an airline, an aviation leasing company and a maintenance hanger, and on creating concessions to run the country’s airports.
A cabinet meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had approved N1.52 billion ($4.99 million) of funding for the project, he added.
Decades of neglect and lack of investment have left Nigeria with low-quality infrastructure that is seen as a hurdle to prosperity and the government has already said that upgrading it will require private investment.
The government set up a committee on establishing a national airline in 2015, in fulfilment of the campaign promises which brought Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) to power.
The single carrier would include Nigeria’s biggest airline, Arik Air, which AMCON took over in February. Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act 2010 established AMCOM for the purpose of efficiently resolving the non-performing loan assets of banks in Nigeria.
AMCON has said it has no plans to convert Arik into a national carrier and that the government has no interest in doing so other than to ensure that the airline continues to fly.
A national carrier for Nigeria is said to be important to drive the development of Nigerian economy into regional economic hubs of West and Central Africa.