A consortium led by Ethiopian Airlines is the preferred bidder for shares in new Nigerian airline Nigeria Air.
Ethiopian Airlines will own a 49% stake in the new airline, while the Nigerian Sovereign Fund will take 46%, and the Nigerian federal government the remaining 5%.
Ethiopian Airlines also owns 45% of Zambia Airways, 49% of Guinea Airways, 100% of Ethiopia-Mozambique Airlines, 49% of Chad Airlines, and 49% of Air Malawi.
Aviation minister Hadi Sirikas says Nigeria Air would have an initial capital of $300, and will launch with service between the capital Abuja and Lagos, the commercial capital, then add other routes later.
The airline will be launched with three Boeing 737-800 planes and plans to own 30 jets and operate international flights in two years.
Nigeria has been seeking to set up a national carrier and develop its aviation infrastructure – currently seen as a barrier to economic growth – to create a hub for West Africa.
The country’s previous national carrier, Nigeria Airways, was founded in 1958 and wholly owned by the government. It ceased to operate in 2003.