The Nigerian government is inviting investors to fund another attempt to bring order to aviation chaos.
Prospective backers of a new “paper airline” have been assured that the government “will not be involved in management decisions and control of the airline”.
But the key decisions that any airline management would wish to make have already been taken by the government. The aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, has stipulated a launch date: December 2018, and the government is already seeking to lease 15 aircraft, which will be gradually replaced and expanded by planes ordered directly from Airbus or Boeing: 15 single-aisle ordered Airbus A320s or Boeing 737s, and the same number of A330 or 787 wide-bodies.
Investors will be told where to fly the aircraft. The Nigerian government has chosen 40 domestic routes and 40 international services. It has even chosen a name, Nigeria Air, a logo and a livery of green and white. Independent wrote that it is as though investors in a restaurant were invited to do whatever they liked, only to be told: here’s the brand you must use, and here’s the menu you must serve.