Nigeria Air Take-Off Imminent, Buhari Assures Ethiopian Airlines

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Ethiopian Airlines that the take-off of Nigeria Air, the country’s national carrier, is on course and will soon become a reality.

He gave the assurance while speaking with the owners of Ethiopian Airlines, according to Mallam Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity. 

According to Mallam Garba, the president emphasized it was a “weighty decision” to reestablish a national carrier by the Nigerian government. 

The Official Portrait of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari
The Official Portrait of the Federal Republic of Nigerian President, President Muhammadu Buhari. | ©Wikimedia Commons

Buhari Gives Assurance Of A Launch

Buhari assured Girma Wake, Ethiopian Airlines Board Chairman, Mesfin Tasswe, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, and Daniel Abebe, Group Vice President Strategic Planning and Alliances, on the sidelines of the 36th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Buhari further said that the Nigerian government is committed to providing the necessary support and infrastructure to ensure the successful launch and operation of Nigeria Air soon.

According to President Buhari, Nigeria Air will serve as a catalyst for economic growth and job creation and contribute to developing the country’s aviation sector. He also reiterated his government’s commitment to the ongoing rehabilitation of airports nationwide.

Boeing 767-3BG(ER), Ethiopian Airlines
Boeing 767-3BG(ER), belonging to Ethiopian Airlines. | © Wikimedia Commons

Wake Asked For The Resolution Of The Legal Tussle

In his response, Girma Wake Congratulated President Buhari on the progress towards establishing Nigeria Air, saying that Ethiopian Airlines is ready to partner with Nigeria in the aviation sector.

Wake also expressed his confidence in the Nigerian market, saying that the country has a huge potential for growth in the aviation industry. However, he requested the resolution of the legal tussle halting Nigeria Air from commencing. As previously reported by Travel Radar, Ethiopia Airlines has a 49% stake in Nigeria Air. He further requested the repatriation of airline funds stuck in Nigeria due to the foreign exchange debacle in the country.

Wake said.

“Nigeria is not just a market but a hub for aviation in Africa. Nigeria is a special country, and nobody travels more around the globe than Nigerians,” 

Nigeria Air was first announced in 2018, but its launch was delayed due to various challenges. However, President Buhari’s assurance indicates that the national carrier is set to take off soon. The launch of Nigeria Air is expected to boost the country’s economy and provide job opportunities for Nigerians.

The Ethiopian Airlines chief also hinted at the expansion of the airline’s operations in the country with additional daily flights between Lagos and Addis Ababa as well as between the two nations’ capitals, Abuja and Addis Ababa.

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Victor Utomi
Victor Utomi
Victor is an aviation reporter with a passion for all things related to flight and aerospace. In addition to the coverage of the latest industry news and developments, Victor is also a crypto enthusiast, keeping a close eye on the latest trends and developments in the digital currency world. When he is not reporting on the aviation industry or following the crypto market, he can be found exploring the great outdoors. As a nature lover, he spends his free time camping, visiting zoos and nature parks, and taking in the beauty of the natural world. In addition to his love of nature, Victor is also an advocate for clean energy. He believes in the importance of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and finding sustainable energy sources to power our future. Overall, Victor brings a unique and well-rounded perspective to his reporting, combining his interests in aviation, crypto, nature, and clean energy to provide insightful and informative coverage on a variety of topics.