Wednesday, March 27, 2013

■ NIGERIA: Government finalizes plans to source funding for new national carrier as ATR pitches its turboprops for use in the Aviation Intervention Fund.

NigeriaAfter a meeting of the Economic Management Team chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, the Nigerian government is set to finalize plans for funding for the establishment of a national carrier.

According to Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, the government is seeking long term funds for the reactivation and floating of a national airline under a Public-Private-Partnership agreement (PPP).

Nigeria's last 100% state-owned carrier, Nigeria Airways (WT), collapsed in 2003 under a debt burden of more than USD60million blamed mostly on mis-management, corruption, and overstaffing. It was succeeded by Virgin Nigeria (VK) which subsequently went on to become Air Nigeria, which also collapsed in 2012 under murky circumstances.

Overland Airways ATR72 (aeroprints)
Meanwhile, a delegation from ATR, the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer and headquartered on the grounds of Toulouse Blagnac International Airport in Blagnac, France, has paid a visit to the Nigerian Government in the hopes of pitching its ATR42 and 72 turboprops in the country's planned purchase of 30 aircraft for onward placement with local airlines. The mass-purchase is part of plans to improve the viability and safety of the local Nigerian airline industry.  
"Representatives of the manufacturing company, led by the Vice President Sales, Africa and Indian Ocean of ATR, Mr. Guido Di Paolo told journalists at the corporate headquarters of Landover Aviation in Lagos last week said they were in Nigeria to assist government to carry out the plan to acquire aircraft for the operators by making sure that they acquire the right airplane types."
Source [ThisDay]

No specific types of aircraft have been mentioned though the Nigerian Government did announce in November 2012 that Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embraer, had provisionally agreed to collaborate with the Nigerian Government's efforts to assist domestic Nigerian airlines in acquiring new aircraft "at concessionary rates."

Funding is to come via the USD1billion (NGN300billion) Aviation Intervention Fund set up by government and disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with Bank of Industry (BOI).