New national carrier: Lufthansa to become technical partner?

The Ministry of Aviation has completed its plans to set up a new national carrier in Nigeria before the end of the year. Instead of promoting one of the domestic airlines to the status of national carrier, the Ministry opted to create a new airline in partnership with a major European carrier that will provide technical support. The name of Lufthansa German Airlines has been circulating as possible partner in the past weeks, but Turkish Airlines could be a surprise choice too.

The ownership structure [of the new airline] will have zero government control in terms of management and equity holding but its controlling shares would be owned by Nigeria, who will become stakeholders through the sale of Initial Public Offer (IPO), while the partner airline would have management control and 49 per cent stake holding. “What is clear now is that government will not play any role in its ownership and control; it will be owned by Nigerians through IPO, although the template of that is still being worked on,” confirmed Joe Obi, the Special Adviser (Media) to the Minister of Aviation.



14 responses to “New national carrier: Lufthansa to become technical partner?”

  1. Alaba says :

    Controlling shares by the government but zero control in terms of management.
    Yeah ..right. What with government free tickets and air warrants as well as the threats of ‘Do you know who I am?’ It didn’t work with Virgin and will not work with this projected airline

  2. Smith says :

    Short of any unfair favoritism, I give this venture very little chance of success. This whole thing looks and smells reminiscent of Transcorp. Anyway, lets see how this will come to fruition.

  3. Eric says :

    Why all the negative energy every time government makes a move? Even before something starts people have labelled it “a failure”. At least if this works, people will be employed.

  4. Waly O says :

    I am quite sceptical about this national carrier idea, but let us see where this goes. Hopefully past lessons have been learnt.

  5. Smith says :

    Sir Eric, unfortunately the secrecy surrounding the introduction of this airline throws many suspicions and specilations out there. These sorts of incognito moves by the govt, has lots of precedent in the past that ends in failure. There is plenty of reason for the negative energy, but they will have to prove the masses wrong. The federal govt hardly gets benefit of the doubt anymore.

  6. LAF says :

    The Fed is several steps behind in transparency and still have a long way to go to get up to standard.

    On the other side, it would be in the best interest of whoever the external tech partner is to equally take a more transparent approach and think of their reputation in the long run.

    Thanks to technology, it’s less difficult to hide critical details for too long and for an issue of such national significance, they ought to do better.

    At the end of the day, if this airline will be a full re-make and will succeed, it will do so becuase it’s built on fundamental priciples and pillars of success, and drawing mainly from a solid Nigerian input at every stage of the process. This is ultimately a non-transferrable responsibility and is the surest and shortest way there.

    If they not out for quick-fixes this time but are in it for the long haul, then best of luck with the endeavour.

    Nigeria Airways will be 44 on Monday and 45 next year. To augment the Nike slogan: Just do it right.

    • LAF says :

      “Nigeria Airways will be 44 on Monday and 45 next year. To augment the Nike slogan: Just do it right.”

      Correction. Addy +10 years. I meant 54 and 55, respectively.

  7. Sam says :

    Lufthansa is tied with Arik somewhat through a maintenance agreement. Turkish Airlines on the other hand is among the very few airlines that are now profitable in Europe, it holds global ambitions, expanding to dozens of African destinations and transforming its Istanbul base into a truely global hub.

    In my opinion Turkish Airlines is the best that Nigeria could attract at the moment in light of the economic downturn in Europe and elsewhere. Turkish would provide technical expertise and help grow this new carrier to new markets which do not overlap with Turkish’s network (unlike defunct Virgin Nigeria which bizarrely ‘competed’ with its parent Virgin Atlantic). In return Turkish gets feeder traffic from Nigeria to connect to a global network especially to Asian destinations.

    I hope the government implements its agreement in good faith abiding by contractual terms unlike previous disasters like the one with Virgin Atlantic or Bi-Courtney at a local level. Turkish needs to study in fine detail any agreement closely to protect its interests. It would also be beneficial to extract rights such as the operation of “some” domestic daily frequencies from the Lagos international wing to offer seamless connections from international fights. That would help it compete against hub and spoke network carriers like Ethiopian Airlines which already operates to several Nigerian gateways.

    • LAF says :

      The Turkish attraction is clearly understandable, given their current performance and growth ambitions, as similar to the B3ME carriers.

      When you look beynd the numbers and assess criteria such as the level of their long term R & D base, capacity for innovation and capacity to effectively facilitate knowledge transfer, there are legacy carriers in Western Europe that excel TK in this area, their current economic outlook notwithstanding.

      These among other things, are critical ingredients needed to form solid foundation and help the new airline hit the ground running or should I say, takeoff successfully.

  8. Eze says :

    Did anybody think of the possibility that the Nigerian govt. is grooming Aero to become the new flag carrier? AMCON has taken over Aero following its bailout…So this new national airline project could be in fact connected to Aero….and Aero is already a well established, international standard airline.

  9. LAF says :

    Don’t know,but that would be a hard sell. The pathway from where they are to a full service carrier is not that easy and virtually a total metamorphosis would be needed. The best bet is to set up an airline from scratch and to have Aero and Arik domestic and regional specialists, boosting quality in these areas.

  10. Pee Kubed says :

    What a lot of waste! the only people to benefit will be the advisors including Lufthansa!! The sector as it stands is badly in need of consolidation and partnering with the big alliances to face the treat from European and Gulf carriers. creating another player to dilute the local pool is really not going to help this. Just another Air Nigeria that will push other airlines like Arik closer to the wall…

    The Government has no business setting up airlines, equity or no equity, they should concentrate on providing infrastructure to take advantage of nigeria’s potential to act as a regional hub, north/south hub and potentially east/wast. if you did that, the rest would sort itself out because the most successful airlines have built their business around transfer rather than just origin destination travellers.

    This carrier may have a maximum of two or three international routes it can operate profitably, London, NYC and Jo’Berg… All currently served by one carrier that’s finding it tough….

  11. Nathaniel says :

    I dont know why its so hard for these airlines to accept OJT student, i studied aircraft maintenance tech & i’ve applied to virtually all the major airlines since august but non has given me a call, its so annoying that you must know somebody before these airline will consider you to perform OJT wit dem, and dey keep complaining of shortage of man power, i need assitant from any kind person.

  12. Greg says :

    Eze, I agree with LAF. Int ops of the caliber in question are outside Aero’s league. I suppose they could “learn”, but at what speed and at what cost? And, given its capacity for wahala, you can be sure Arik won’t allow Aero come in without a fight.
    Nathaniel, polish your English for a start. Then, try NCAA. Perhaps their engineers. It’s a shame, but they actually owe you a moral duty of employment with local aircraft operators. Still, because this is Nigeria, they may be quick to say they weren’t the ones who sent you to school.
    So, be polite, respectful, patient and prayerful. Visit them in person. God will see you through

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