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UAE carrier, Emirates Airlines offers to help Nigeria establish a new airline

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The United Arab national carrier, Emirates Airlines has signalled its intention to partner with Nigeria in its bids to float Nigeria Air, a new national carrier.

According to the Special Assistant to the minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the President of Emirates Airlines, Tim Clark, made the offer during a panel discussion at Dubai Expo 2020.

The SA, James Odaudu, who spoke in Abuja on Monday said the panel discussion was held to discuss the future of aviation at the Dubai Expo 2020.

He quoted Clark to have said that Emirates Airlines would be happy to help if assistance was requested of it in starting Nigeria’s national carrier.

He added that such assistance would elicit requests for clarification, mostly from the media and industry stakeholders in Nigeria.

The aviation minister SA said Clark spoke in support of Sirika’s position that Nigeria had a compelling need to establish a national carrier, 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 in Africa.

“We are very interested in flying there because it is a rich nation in terms of demand for services,” Clark was quoted as saying.

READ ALSO: Nigeria bars outgoing calls on SIMs not linked with national identity database

Odaudu also quoted the minister, Sirika as saying that the offer by Emirates Airlines could not be anything other than an endorsement of the need, the zeal, and the process for the national carrier project.

He said that Emirates Airlines’ move was also an expression of confidence of the international aviation community in the commitment by Nigeria to own its own airline.

He said that the offer was an encouragement to the many bidders currently preparing their Public-Private Partnership bids for Nigeria Air in response to the Request for Proposal advertised by Nigeria.

He said the minister assured that the process for the acquisition of the Air Operator’s Certificate and the Air Transport License was well on course for the expected launch date of the national carrier that Nigerians would be proud of.

“As it has been repeatedly stated, the whole process for the establishment of the national carrier and all the projects under government’s aviation roadmap has been guided by the principles of transparency and accountability.

“Boldly speaking, this will remain till the final delivery of the project,” the SA quoted the minister as saying.

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