Nigeria Air to commence operations before May 29
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has assured that the national carrier, Nigeria Air, would commence operation before May 29, 2023. Sirika, who disclosed this at the 2023 National Aviation Stakeholders Forum, said that the benefits from the establishment of a national carrier would include reduced capital flight, optimal benefit of BASA and SAATM and a developed aviation hub.
He listed other benefits to include higher contribution of aviation sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), boosting of hospitality and tourism business, growth and development in agriculture as well as creation of jobs around the agro-cargo terminals.
He said that Nigeria has started making payments to foreign airlines’ whose ticket sales fund were held up by dollar shortages. He said Qatar Airlines had $201m blocked while another $216m was owed to IATA airlines. “We are doing our best to get the monies released,” Sirika said.
He added that Emirates Airline had got most of its funds though still had around $35m to be collected.