Spokesman of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, has said that the national carrier which the federal government is trying to float, has no Nigerian side to it.
Speaking at a webinar on Thursday October 20, Okonkwo who claimed that the President was ill-advised on the feasibility of the national carrier, added that the national carrier cannot survive with the proposed shareholding structure, Daily Trust reports.
The Federal Government had selected Ethiopian Airlines as the equity partner in the proposed Nigeria Air. Ethiopian Airlines would hold 49 percent stake while the federal government holds 5 percent and the remaining 46 percent goes to Nigerian investors.
Also querying the genuineness and transparency of the whole process of establishing the national carrier, Okonkwo who is the Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, stated that talking about a national carrier in the contemporary global economy is shameful as what the aviation industry needs is support for local operators and a stoppage to persistent demonization of the domestic airlines by the people in government.
Chief Executive Officer of TopBrass Airline, Capt. Roland Iyayi, in his speech at the webinar, expressed fear of Nigeria Air suffering the same fate as defunct Virgin Nigeria which was set up in partnership with Virgin Atlantic of United Kingdom.
Iyayi added that asides adding nothing to the domestic market, the partnership with Ethiopian Airlines is killing the domestic market.