The preferred bidder for shares in the new Nigerian airline Nigeria Air is a consortium led by Ethiopian Airlines, the nation’s aviation minister announced on Friday. One of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign pledges in the 2015 election was the airline.
The new airline will be 49% owned by Ethiopian Airlines, 46% by the Nigerian Sovereign Fund, and 5% by the Nigerian federal government.
Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, told reporters that the Buhari cabinet was anticipated to approve the shareholding plan in the the next few weeks. According to him, Nigeria Air would have a $300 million initial capital and 30 aircraft by the end of four years.
The new airline will begin by offering service between Abuja, the nation’s capital, and Lagos, its commercial hub, and will later add more routes, according the minister.
“We are going to initially bring in six Boeing 737 aircraft and between third and fourth year the airline will be able to acquire up to 30 aircraft,” Sen. Hadi Sirika added.
“Nigeria Air is a limited liability company that will have no government intervention,” he added.