Why Nigeria Air partnership with Ethiopian Airline will succeed – ART President

Amidst the cacophonous voice that has greeted the decision of the federal government to enter into partnership with Ethiopian Airlines in establishing the much awaited Nigeria Air Airline, President of Aviation Round Table (ART) Dr. Gabriel Olowo has described the deal as a good choice for the upcoming airline.

Minister of Aviation at a briefing in Abuja last Friday laid the rest the anxieties surrounding the project when he announced that the east Africa country’s carrier as the technical partner and core investor in the birth of Nigeria Air alongside the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc, MRS as well other institutional investors.

In his reaction, the ART President noted that “I once said in my reaction to the speculation that ET comes as a partner of good choice for Air Nigeria and now that it is officially confirmed, my position remains the same.”

He explained that since the issue of Air Nigeria “To be or not to be” has been laid to rest, given government insistence to do so, his endorsement is based on the need for success of any new start-up Airline in Nigeria.

He acknowledged that although failures still abound in the market while some airlines still remain very weak, hence the challenge for the discerning and concerned citizen remains in coming up with useful advice.

Dr. Olowo explained that the deal “is especially advantageous for Air Nigeria to partner with ET (as a competitor on the Nigeria BASA) for simple purposes of Code Share Agreement (CSA) and Blocked Seats Agreements (BSA) outside the Airline’s intended Direct Services.”

“The merits of cooperation and collaboration will more than outweigh that of Competition (in the manner of speaking) provided the management is on top of its game.”

The former Nigeria Airways staff reiterated that the defunct Nigeria national carrier in the past operated to many countries (not directly) but by Commercial Agreements.

“That is not all, Interlining and Global Alliances (which is a necessity in today’s aviation) comes with ease given this partnership rather than the airline struggling on its own for relevance and partnership for route expansion & penetration purposes.”

The benefits of the new deal he said include the robust maintenance facility

Ethiopian Airlines and its varied fleet that will come very helpful to the young Nigerian Airline, manpower training and personnel exchanges.

“ET as an African partner is inward looking and its very good for the implementation of Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) under African Continent Free Trade Agreements (AfCFTA).

“Without any intention of being the Brand Manager for this project, it is my call to salute any good decision be it by Individual Operator and or Govt.” Olowo told journalists in Lagos.

However, he said “the only caveat which has been printed repeatedly is that the 5% Govt ownership (our common wealth) may not be necessary after all, since Govt is midwifing a totally privately owned airline. It’s a general contention that “Govt has no business in Business” due to incessant political interferences.“

“It is also expected that the carrier is not treated as a “more flag carrier” than all others already flying the flag such as Air Peace and one time Arik.

“I want to discountenance the National Carrier nomenclature as

No one single Airline can quickly and easily reciprocate all NG BASAS. 2-3 strong carriers are desirable.

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