The Federal Government has advanced move to overhaul the aviation sector as it recently shortlisted a consortium including Egypt Air as an Aviation Leasing Company.
The government was reportedly seeking private partners to set up an aircraft leasing company to help domestic and African carriers obtain new planes. This is because of the inability of most airlines to expand their fleets due to high financing costs and currency risks.
According to the Ministry of Aviation, the new aircraft leasing company would initially lease aircraft from international lessors and then lease them on to domestic operators in which the government would hold a minority stake in the company.
Plans going forward: The ministry also made known that Nigeria would hand over its airports to private managers as a way to attract investment. It added that apart from the Egypt Air consortium that was shortlisted, the Ethiopian Airlines would also be set up an aircraft maintenance facility in Lagos or Abuja.
More details: As stated by the Director, Public Affairs of the Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, in a statement, the processes for the establishment of both the Aviation Leasing Company and the MRO facility were components of the Federal Government’s aviation sector roadmap.
He said it was all in line with what the government had planned out in a bid to revive the sector from low-quality infrastructure and lack of investments. It is in this light that the government said upgrading infrastructure would require private investment.
Odaudu said the companies were selected during a process that involved officials of the Ministry of Aviation, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Federal Ministry of Finance, aviation labour unions, transaction advisers and prospective investors.