The managing director of International Services of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Esayas WoldeMariam Hailu, has outlined reasons why Nigeria needs a national carrier.
WoldeMariam Hailu stated that Nigeria as the largest African population and also the largest economy in Africa, with very high mobility both domestically and overseas needs a national carrier.
Speaking in an interview with Nigeria Aviation Journalists at the Airline’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Tuesday, June 11, WoldeMariam Hailu stated that the airline has been participating in Nigeria’s bid to float a national carrier alongside some other foreign airlines.
Commenting on whether there is any partnership plan between Ethiopia Airlines and federal government of Nigeria on the proposed Nigeria Air, the Ethiopian Airlines MD stated that there is nothing on hand so far.
While wishing the country success in their endeavour to float a national carrier, WoldeMariam Hailu said Ethiopian Airlines is ready and willing to give the country all the support it may require from them if requested.
As indicated in the past, Ethiopian is ready to provide its support and expertise for the successful establishment of the national carrier, WoldeMariam Hailu said.
He noted that Ethiopian Airlines would welcome any partnership that may arise from Nigeria in this area, adding that the Airline is in expectation of that.
In his word: “There have been attempts to float a national carrier by partnering some foreign airlines by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Ethiopian Airlines has been participating on that. So far we have not been picked, but we are able, capable and ready, whenever the vacancy is created, we are ready to come and cooperate on that”.
He continued that: “Nigeria has been a very good host and by the share volume of the population which is the demographic dividend, the most precious resource which is the human resource, Nigeria been the largest African population and also the largest economy, with very high mobility both domestically and overseas, so for that Nigeria really requires a national carrier, so we wish them all the successes.”
On the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), the Ethiopian Airlines boss explained that SAATM is a very good solution for Africa airlines, stressing that it is now left for Africa to put its heads together and organise their air transport and make it thrive.
“SAATM is the best thing that can ever happen to Africa because air transport connectivity is the fuel for economy and cultural exchange, people going and coming create regional and cultural tourism as well as people, goods and economic transactions,”WoldeMariam Hailu stated.