Federal Government yesterday said technical partners for the new national carrier were yet undecided, as the bidding process, among others, were still ongoing.The disclosure was in response to a report that one of the bidders, Ethiopian Airlines (ET), was in the lead to win the bid.
Deputy Director, Media and Public Affairs, Ministry of State for Aviation, James Odaudu, faulted the claim by the ET’s Chief Executive, Tewolde GebreMariam, that the airline was the favourite to establish and manage the new ‘Nigeria Air’.Odaudu said even if ET had tendered an offer to be partner, it is misleading for the chief executive to claim the lead.
According to him, discussions are ongoing with prospective partners and investors ranging from development finance institutions, airlines and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).He added that the discussions were not limited to the establishment of a national carrier, as there were other components of the Aviation Roadmap that need investors.
“I don’t know about ET or any other prospective investor being favourites or frontrunners to establish and manage Nigeria Air,” Odaudu said. GebreMariam had on Tuesday said ET was in the frontrunner among a small group with an interest in establishing a national carrier in Nigeria.