Nigeria Wants To Launch New National Airline

Filed Under: Other Airlines

This is a fun day at the Farnborough Airshow for African aviation. Earlier it was announced that Uganda Airlines placed an order for two A330neo aircraft. While the airline presently doesn’t have any planes, they want to commence longhaul flights in the next couple of years. They’re not the only African country announcing the revival of their national airline, though.

The Nigerian government announced today that they’re in the advanced stages of forming Nigeria Air, and that they expect that the airline will be flying by the end of this year (which seems really soon). They’ve already shared the branding for the new airline, and that it will have the slogan “bringing Nigeria closer to the world.”

They don’t just have modest growth plans, but the intent is for Nigeria Air to launch 84 routes over the coming years.

This development comes 15 years after Nigerian Airways, the previous state-run airline, ceased operations. Here’s what Nigeria’s minister of state for aviation had to say about the new airline, per Airways:

“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.”

“I am confident that we will have a well-run national flag carrier, a global player, compliant with international safety standards, one which has the customer at its heart.”

The minister also indicated that at this point the business case still needs to be approved, which seems like a pretty important detail.

The minister did note that while the government will have a stake in the airline, “it is a business, not a social service.” As a result, the government won’t be involved in running the airline or deciding who runs it.

I’d love to see some of these new airlines actually succeed, though generally the more ambitious they are, the more skeptical I am. It’s one thing to want to launch a national airline, but maybe starting off with 84 routes in mind might be a bit extreme?

  1. I wonder, Lucky, what would be your ideal airline company? As in, what would be your desirable airline in an ideal world. It’s a theoretical question I just thought of right now. We’ve seen multiple posts of airline start-ups and airline issues. Just curious

  2. “15 Years after the demise of Nigeria Airways and 6 after Air Nigeria, the country will get a new airline”

    Based on past performance, I predict ‘Nigeriair’ will launch in 2022 to pick up where Nigeria Air will have left off.

    Rolls off the tongue easier, too.

  3. @keitherson
    Yes I’ve helped the prince receive investment funds by wiring him $30,000 to cover the transaction cost of the investments. I should be named on the board and have 10% ownership in the airline. Don’t forget to look me up in the annual reports.
    Oh by the way, the prince also asked me if I can refer 10 more people to help cover the cost I would be awarded with a bonus of 5% ownership and each of the referrals will get $500,000 each when we start selling tickets. And as a bonus, if any of you can come up with $1,000,000 up front to bribe Skytrax into giving us a 5-star airline rating, the prince will reimburse you for 10 times. YES that is $10,000,000 once we get the 5-star rating.

  4. I’m rooting for Nigeria to have a successful national airline. Given that Nigeria is one of the largest economies in Africa, there’s demand for travel to and from the country. They have more in their favor that other counties in the region after similar ambitions. If they pursue slow growth and stay true to their stated intentions of setting this up as an actual business without too much state interference, I see potential.

  5. Hi @Lucky
    Can you do more coverage of Farnborough Airshow? As in make more posts and updates about new airplane orders by different airlines.
    I think this would be very useful and helpful for us readers


  6. And why would this airline succeed where others have failed, thanks to currency problems and the national sport of corruption and backhanders?

  7. I am a Nigerian and let me explain this airline idea to you. It is basically an election stunt and believe me they have the ability to buy brand new or lease up to a hundred aircraft at once in order to blind the eyes of the populace to their inability to rule because unfortunately we love being highly idealistic and therefore no matter how much I want this idea to work it isn’t going to

  8. Nigeria is a large economy and
    I guess with the right mix they actually could get something up and happening.

  9. The problem with Nigerian culture is that they don’t hold upkeep, or maintenance, high up in anything business related. It’s just a waste of money in their culture. …not a good combination.

  10. I just came back from living in Nigeria and my though is that if local or regional flights cannot be properly handled, how are international flights going to be maintained. I flew with two private airlines (Air Peace and Arik Air – you can see the reviews on my blog) and while the flights were decent, you just were never sure whether the flight was going to take off, or what time it was going to take off. From the outset you knew there were going to be delays, you just did not know how long and kept hoping the flight would not be cancelled. And throughout the entire process, there would be no communication, and if the flight was cancelled there was no customer service. Instead of spending the money on building a new airline, why not spend that money on upgrading the airport infrastructure – the international airport in Lagos needs an upgrade and also needs security enhancement (I went in multiple times with no security checks) and also needs training on bribing (because I was asked for bribes or ‘rewards’ at each stage of the departure and arrival process – including the security guards at the xray machines)

  11. A country of 190 million people does deserve a national airline… will it work this time?…

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