Nigeria Picks Egypt Air Consortium for Aviation Partnership

Photo: Pixabay
25 February 2020

Nigerian authorities have selected a consortium to set up an aviation leasing company as part of plans to overhaul the country's aviation sector.

Reuters reported Monday that the consortium includes Egypt Air.

The c said on Monday that it has picked the Egypt Air consortium for the aviation leasing company, which the government aims to set up as a private-public partnership.

The new company will lease aircraft from international lessors and then lease them on to domestic operators, while the government will hold a minority stake in the company.

The Nigerian aviation sector is dogged by challenges ranging from poor infrastructure, mounting debt and financing.

On Monday, the ministry of aviation said it has short-listed the Egypt Air consortium as well as Ethiopian Airlines to set up an aircraft maintenance facility in Lagos or Abuja.

In 2017, John Ojikutu, an aviation expert told PREMIUM TIMES that solutions to the debt crises in the industry is to "get foreign technical investors that would take and pay for a big chunk of the debts; sell the remaining to the Nigerian public at the NSE market with a view to transforming the airlines to one or two national flag carriers," among other recommendations.

In September 2018, the Nigerian government announced the suspension of its widely publicised national carrier. The suspension was made because the Economic Management Team (EMT) did not approve it when it launched.

The EMT recommendation was that the Nigerian government should not set up a national carrier with public funds.

In an interview last year, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the Federal Executive Council was 'divided' on the modalities for the establishment of the proposed national carrier, hence its inability to take off.

Mr Amaechi noted that the purpose of establishing a national carrier had not been jettisoned even though the members of the federal cabinet "have different beliefs" as regards the project.

In recent weeks, all international flights bound for Lagos have been diverted to Ghana due to poor weather conditions and complications from new equipment installation.

British Airways and Emirate Airlines were among the carriers unable to land at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos owing to a diversion said to be caused by poor weather in Lagos and inadequate equipment to check visibility.

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