A major carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Emirates Airlines has endorsed Nigeria’s national carrier project and offered to help the nation in her quest.
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, made this known during a meeting recently in Abuja. Sirika said the airline’s offer has elicited requests for clarification from industry stakeholders by Emirates management.
A statement by the minister’s special assistant on public affairs, James Odaudu, said: “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. Also, it is an expression of confidence by the international aviation community in the commitment of the Buhari government to it.”
Speaking recently during a panel session moderated by Richard Quest to discuss the future of Aviation at the Dubai Expo 2022, president of Emirates Tim Clark, said the organisation would be very happy to help if any assistance was required in starting the national carrier.
According to Clark who was speaking in support of the position of Sirika, the establishment of a national carrier is an almost compelling case for Nigeria, going by certain indices.
“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,” Clark said.
Also, the minister said the offer is an encouragement to the many bidders currently preparing their PPP bids for ‘Nigeria Air’ in response to the recently advertised request for proposal (RFP).
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, which Sirika has assured [that] Nigerians will be proud of.
“As has been repeatedly stated, the whole process for the establishment of the national carrier, and, indeed, all the projects under the administration’s aviation roadmap, has been guided by the principles of transparency and accountability and this will remain till the final delivery of the project,” the statement added.