19th September, 2018
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Federal Government on Wednesday suspended the proposed National Carrier, called the Nigeria Air.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika disclosed this on his twitter account @hadisirika.
He said the Federal Executive Council regretted to announce the decision to suspend the National Carrier in the interim.
“I regret to announce that the Federal Executive Council has taken the tough decision to suspend the National Carrier Project in the interim.
“All commitments due will be honoured. We thank the public for the support as always,” he said.
The Federal Government had in July unveiled the branding and livery for the new national carrier, Nigeria Air, and stated that the airline would be inaugurated at the end of this year.
Sirika had said “I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air. We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year.
“We obtained the Certificate of Compliance from the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission two weeks ago and can now go into the investor search. I am confident that we will have a well-run national flag carrier that is a global player, compliant with international safety standards and one which has the customer at its heart.
“We hope to establish an airline that communicates the essence of our beautiful country; an airline we can all be proud of.”
He had said that the branding and naming of the new national carrier came after a social media campaign that was undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation (Aviation), as invited Nigerian youths were asked for their input in order to come up with a name for the new flag carrier, adding that the ministry’s Facebook page and website engaged over 400,000 people.
The ministry had said extensive market research was carried out, which involved focus groups across the country, and over 100 interviews with aviation stakeholders and professionals, politicians as well as business owners, adding that it was currently running an aviation road map that included airport concession, aerotropolis, an aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul centre, agro allied terminals, the national carrier and an aircraft leasing company.