Tuesday, June 4, 2013

► NIGERIA: New national carrier, "National One", to début soon - Princess Stella

NigeriaThe Nigerian government is set to venture into the airline sector once more with a new national carrier, "National One" (this is disputed though as other sources have listed the name as "Nigeria 1") to tentatively take to the skies in the near future, Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, has stated.

Nigeria Airways
Nigeria Airways A310
In an interview with Nigerian satellite channel Africa Independent Television’s "90 Minutes", Princess Oduah claimed that the modalities of the project were being put in order with a possible launch this year. No further details regarding fleet plans, investors or route network was disclosed however.

Last year, it was reported that both Lufthansa (LH) and Air France (AF) had been approached but had declined the offer to become potential shareholders in the new venture.

Abuja's previous foray's into the airline industry, Nigeria Airways (WT), collapsed in 2003 under debts of more than USD60million caused by the usual problems: mismanagement, corruption and overstaffing.  Last year, the country's previous national carrier, Air Nigeria (VK), initially a 51/49 partnership between local Nigerians and Virgin Atlantic (VS) before going wholly indigenous, collapsed in September after various scandals which saw company directors arrested along with allegations of safety oversights and tax evasion.