Nigeria Air: Sirika debunks Ethiopian Airlines’ claim

Nigerian pilots to form backbone of Nigeria Air - Sirika
Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi SIrika.

By Omotilewa Quadri 

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that the claim by Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO, of being favourite to manage Nigeria Air is fake.

He made this known through James Odaudu, the ministry’s deputy director, media and public affairs, on Tuesday. 

The Ethiopian Airline boss had said his company in the bids while addressing a press conference in Addis Ababa.

Sirika said that even if Ethiopian Airlines had tendered an offer to be a partner, it is preposterous and misleading for Ethiopian Airlines boss to make such a statement.

According to him, discussions are ongoing with prospective partners and investors ranging from development finance institutions, airlines and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

“And these discussions are not limited to the establishment of a national carrier,” he said.

“There are other components of the Aviation Roadmap for which investors are being sought.

“These include the establishment of an MRO centre, cargo terminals, concession of airports, establishment of an Aviation Leasing Company etc.

“I don’t know about ET or any other prospective investors being favourites or frontrunners to establish and manage Nigeria Air.

“The public and prospective partners and investors are hereby assured that the processes for the establishment of the national carrier, and indeed other projects in the roadmap have been guided and would continue to be guided by the national policy on public-private partnership (PPP).” 

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