Aviation and Aerospace Minister Reiterates Presidential Authority in Determining Fate of Suspended Airline
In a recent statement, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, emphasized that the ultimate decision regarding the fate of Nigeria Air rests with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The announcement comes in the wake of Keyamo’s earlier decision to suspend the Nigeria Air project, initiated in the closing moments of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The Nigeria Air project faced controversy as it was revealed that the aircraft, ceremonially launched at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, was a rented plane from Ethiopian Airlines. The revelation emerged following the ceremonial water cannon reception marking the supposed inaugural flight of the new airline.
Ethiopian Airlines, chosen as the preferred bidder and technical partner for Nigeria Air, had previously disclosed that it was compelled by the federal government to establish the airline, despite having no intention of doing so. The airline’s Group Chief Executive, Mr. Mesfin Tasew, confirmed that the federal government requested Ethiopian Airlines’ aircraft adorned with the Nigeria Air logo for public inspection, to which the airline acquiesced.
Addressing the status of Nigeria Air during a recent stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, Keyamo revealed that the matter is currently under the consideration of President Tinubu for a final decision. However, he did not elaborate on whether the new administration would proceed with the airline project.
Responding to questions about the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria, Keyamo stated, “We are working round the clock, behind the scenes. I will be in Dubai in less than two weeks now to dot the I’s and cross the T’s.” The minister provided assurance of ongoing efforts to address matters concerning the diplomatic ties between the two nations.
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