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AMCON to sell its shares in Aero Contractors

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Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has confirmed plans to sell its shares in Aero Contractors airlines.

Chief Executive Officer of the airlines, Captain Ado Sanusi, disclosed this, adding that investors have started to indicate interest in the airlines.

It will be recalled that AMCON, the special debt recovery vehicle of the Federal Government, took over the airline in February 2016, to save it from the brink of collapse. The company has lately shown signs of recovery, with the Aero Maintenance facility conducting C-checks on Boeing 737 classics locally.

According to Sanusi, “The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has a plan to divest their shares in Aero Contractors and I think they have been doing that with more investors and that is what they want and that will be done very soon.”

On the forth-coming national carrier, Sanusi said it is the desire of every country to have a national carrier because it buoys the nation’s aviation industry.

He, however, warned that Nigeria should learn from what happened to the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) so that the same mistakes would not be made in the new one.

He said: “You know every country in the world will like to have a national carrier, so I support the national carrier for all the countries that are looking for national airline. But what I want to say is that it should be done with caution.

“Yes, we want to have a national carrier. We want to establish a formidable carrier that will serve our people and the tourism industry, but we must learn from our past mistakes. So, establishing a national carrier will bring more jobs to Aero because definitely they are not establishing a national maintenance facility. So we will definitely have an opportunity as an MRO to serve the national carrier,” Sanusi said.

On the recent complaint by Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) that alleged that the regulatory authority, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), may not guarantee equal opportunity for the planned national carrier and other airlines, Sanusi said the apprehension of the airlines may not be misplaced, but noted that NCAA had already allayed such fears.

“In every industry where you have a regulator and the industry is well regulated, you need to have a level playing field and a fair environment. So, I believe what AON is just asking is that the national carrier that is coming should be allowed to compete favourably with them, and I think that is fair and I don’t think the government is going to unduly give the national carrier some advantage.”

“I think it will allow the national carrier to grow as a business. The moment you don’t allow it to grow as a business, then it might not be sustainable and that is the truth and that is why Ethiopian Airlines is sustainable because they allowed it to grow as a sustainable business. And if you allow a business to grow as a sustainable business, you must allow it to compete with its peers so that it can now get immunisation of competition,” Sanusi said.


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