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FG Unveils Nigeria Air, Starts Operation Before May 29

Barely 48 hours to May 29 inauguration of the incoming administration, the federal government on Friday unveiled the long awaited Nigeria Air, five years after its launch in London.

Haidi Sirika, the outgoing Minister of Aviation, speaking at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja said the operation of local and international flights will commence before Monday.

It was reported that the Airlines Operators of Nigeria, AON, kicked against the commencement of Nigeria Air on the ground that it is a flagrant disobedience to court order.

Sirika had in September 2022, said Ethiopia Airlines emerged as a core investor in Nigeria Air with 49 per cent stake.

The development did not go down well with indigenous operators who believe that the Ethiopia Airlines was given unfair advantage.

AON had taken federal government to court challenging the ownership structure of Nigeria Air.

AON said the commencement of Nigeria Air with Ethiopia Airlines having majority stake would hurt the Nigerian economy and destroy millions of existing jobs.

In July 18, 2018, the government launched Nigeria Air, as a proposed national carrier with $8.8 million in preliminary cost and $300 million as take-off cost.

Nigeria Air is the second National Carrier after the defunct Nigeria Airways.

In July 2022, the federal Executive Council had approved the leasing of three Aircraft by Nigeria Air to commence operation.

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