The Nigerian government has reportedly entered into an agreement with Ethiopian Airlines, that will see the latter become a technical partner, as well as core investor in Nigeria Air.
It was gathered that the Aviation Ministry sent pilots to Addis Ababa for an ab-initio training. The pilots are expected to also undergo training on Boeing 737 NG aircraft, which Nigeria Air will be using when it commences operation in June 2023.
“Yes, we have selected Ethiopian Airlines. We have agreed to work with the airline, and we are hoping to make the announcement soon.” Someone with information on the selection told This Day on Thursday.
The unnamed source added, “I heard the minister sent some pilots there some time ago for training. But it was ab-initio training. They are also preparing for the training of pilots on Boeing 737 NG aircraft. Ethiopian will provide the technical management.”
Explaining why the government went with Ethiopian Airlines, the source said, “Ethiopian Airlines has the equipment needed for the startup of the new national carrier, Nigeria Air.
“It has many Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, which would be the equipment that would be deployed with the additional deployment of a few Boeing B737 NG aircraft. The airline is most prepared to support the Nigerian government to actualise its national carrier ambition.”
The new development comes four months after the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) issued a 5-year Air Transport Licence (ATL) to Nigeria Air in June 2022. It is expected to expire on June 2, 2027.