The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has reacted to the offer by the management of Emirates Airlines to partner with the Nigerian government in its quest to establish a national carrier.
The Minister in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Public Affairs, James Odaudu said the offer serves as an encouragement to the many bidders currently preparing their Public-Private Partnership (PPP) bids for Nigeria Air in response to the recently advertised Request for Proposal.
Sirika, in the statement which was obtained by Channels Television on Monday, added that “the offer by Emirates cannot be anything other than an endorsement of the need, the zeal, and, of course, the process for the national carrier project. It is also an expression of confidence of the international aviation community in the commitment of the Buhari government to it.”
According to the statement, the management of Emirates Airlines recently made an offer to partner with the Nigerian Government in its quest to establish a national carrier and this has elicited requests for clarification, mostly from the media and industry stakeholders.
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Speaking recently during a panel session moderated by Richard Quest to discuss the future of Aviation at the Dubai Expo 2020, Tim Clark, President of Emirates said the organisation would be very happy to help if any assistance was required in starting the national carrier.
Clark said the establishment of a national carrier is an almost compelling case for Nigeria, going by certain indices.
The statement had quoted Clark as saying, “Of course, Nigeria needs a National Airline. There is an enormous business case for the national carrier. Nigerians are seeking to travel all over the world. Nigeria is a powerhouse of Africa. We are very interested in flying there because it is a rich nation in terms of demand for services.”
The Minister of Aviation assured Nigerians that the process for the acquisition of the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and the Air Transport License (ATL) is well on course for the expected launch date of the airline.