The Federal Government (FG) will next week unveil the new national carrier at the Farnborough International Public Airshow in London, as part of measures to attract more investors to the new airline.
The choice of London, The Guardian gathered, is not unconnected with the huge investment required from the private sector and an assembly of foreign investors and stakeholders that airshow present.It will be recalled that the FG has set the December 24 take off date for the new carrier – a joint partnership between the public and private investors.
Sources at the Ministry of Transport on Wednesday confirmed that investors, both within and outside the country, are showing interests, but the “London airshow” is a bigger avenue to showcase the “great idea” to the global aviation community.
The ministry is optimistic that the earlier investors complement the giant strides in the building up to the new airline, the better for the carrier’s prospects to materialise.
According to plan, the ministry we will unveil the Name, Logo, Colour scheme, the Structure and the Type of airplane about the national carrier at Farnborough International Public Airshow on July 18, 2018.
Farnborough Airshow is the most famous airshow in the United Kingdom. It is held every two years. The show is the UK’s shop-window for the Aerospace Industry featuring exhibitors from the civilian, defence and space sectors.
Minister of States for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had earlier disclosed that the Nigerian government is not fully funding the airline as it has adopted Public Private Partnership (PPP), “to deliver a national carrier that would stand the test of time and be world class in operation and management.”
According to Sirika, Nigeria will receive the first set of five airplanes for the airline on December 19, 2018. The proposed airline will gulp N3.2 billion ($8.8 million) preliminary cost and N108 billion ($300 million) as take off cost.“We will make the investments and follow the business plan through private sector management. We intend to get a 30 aircraft market in five years. But we will begin with five aircraft on the day of launch”.
The government is expected to step in to cover the funding gap at the onset and ease out thereafter. However, the government has assured of not getting involved in the management of the national carrier – to allay the fears of private operators that the government may become regulator and operator via the new airline.