Air Nigeria is to be floated on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2014 under ambitious plans to make the airline a genuine national carrier that can compete globally.
On May 16, Air Nigeria commenced direct flights between Lagos and London, flying between Murtala Mohammed International Airport and Gatwick Airport’s south terminal. It procured an Airbus A330-200 with 24 business seats and 244 economy seats for the service.
In addition, the airline plans to take delivery of four Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes by the the third quarter of 2014. When the planes are delivered and functional, Air Nigeria will become the first West African airline to have Dreamliner aircraft in its fleet.
Jimoh Ibrahim, Air Nigeria’s chairman, said: “Air Nigeria will now be an airline owned by Nigerians. You will be a shareholder, I will be a shareholder and it will be our airline.”
He added that the emphasis will be on international routes as that is where airlines make decent profits. According to Mr Ibrahim, destinations like Rome and Paris are routes which Air Nigeria has in mind.
Also, Mr Ibrahim said that Air Nigeria will take delivery of another Airbus A330-200 during the course of June as part of these ambitious plans. He pointed out that this aircraft will fly the Lagos to Dubai route.
He added: ” We have got government approval to fly to Rome, Paris, Johannesburg and Dubai. We will start flying to Dubai before the end of this quarter.”