The Ethiopian Airlines (ET) consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder for Nigeria Air, with a 49 percent stake in the national carrier.
Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, stated this during a press conference in Abuja on Friday.
ET received an 89 percent out of 100 in the technical bidding procedure and 15 out of 20 in finance bids, according to Sirika.
He stated that the request for proposal (RFP) process under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act, which is overseen by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), has been completed.
“After a careful, detailed, and ICRC-governed selection process, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder, offering an owner consortium of 3 Nigerian investors,” he said.
“The Nigerian investors are MRS, SAHCO, and the Nigerian Sovereign Fund (46%), FGN owning 5% and ET 49%. The consortium has been subject to a due diligence process.
“The contract will be negotiated between consortium and FGN, leading to a full business case (FBC) which will be expected to be approved by the federal executive council (FEC). We expect this process to take 6-8 weeks.”
The minister stated that the national carrier would begin operations with three Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
He stated that Nigeria Air will begin operations with a shuttle service between Abuja and Lagos, with other domestic destinations to come later.
“The first aircraft is ready for additional work and NCAA inspection, demo flights, and audit as part of the AOC requirements,” he added.
“In time, two others will arrive to complete the required three aircraft for a new AOC holder.” FAAN has assisted the temporary executive team in its preparations.
“The team has finalised a deal with the MMA 2 terminal in Lagos for the operating of an initial shuttle between Lagos and Abuja.”
Sirika added that the airline’s headquarters will be located in the operations control center (OCC) at the Abuja airport.