Airbus and Boeing indicate they want to take out stakes in Nigeria's planned national carrier

SEVERAL aircraft manufacturers including Airbus and Boeing have signified an interest in purchasing stakes in Nigeria’s planned national carrier which the government in hoping to float shortly.


Nigeria is currently without a national airline since Nigerian Airways folded over 20 years ago and despite plans to replace it, numerous initiatives have failed to take off. Arik Air, Nigeria's largest domestic had been filing the role but this year, it ran into serious

has been in serious financial difficulties and was taken over by the federal government via the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Amcon, having chalked up huge debts, which totalled over N300bn ($833m).


Over recent months, the government has been reported to be seeking a buyer for Arik Air, with Ethiopian Airlines said to be keen on purchasing it. Several shareholders have been opposed to the move, however, so it is not yet clear if the government will float a new airline from scratch or convert Arik into the national carrier.


Minister of state for aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, said, however, that several aircraft manufacturers have expressed their willingness to discuss their matter with the government. He did not provide details of what kind of stakes they are willing to take out in the planned new carrier.


Senator Sirika said: “Boeing said they can’t wait to discuss their proposal for the Nigerian national carrier. We will sign a memorandum of understanding with them at the International Civil Aviation Organization (Iaco) World Aviation Forum.


“Airbus also signified an interest in our national carrier and our maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). We will discuss further during the upcoming Iaco forum.”


Over recent months, Senator Sirika announced the federal government’s determination to establish a national carrier as well as an MRO facility in order to reposition the country’s aviation sector. Transaction advisers for the national carrier and the MRO have already been appointed by the government.