The management of Emirates Airlines has made an offer to partner with the Nigerian government in its quest to establish a national carrier.
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, had 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 Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, the establishment of a national carrier was 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 power house of Africa. We are very interested in flying there because it is a rich nation in terms of demand for services,” Clark had said.
According to the Minister, 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,” he added.
Sirika, in a statement by his Special Assistant, Public Affairs, James Odaudu, also saw the offer as an encouragement to the many bidders currently preparing their PPP bids for Nigeria Air in response to the recently advertised Request for Proposal.
According to him, “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 Senator Sirika has assured, 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.”