Nigeria air since the day the name, logo and tagline were unveiled by the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, at the Farnborough International Airshow, London, it has been under criticism. While some highlighted the needs and benefits, some also pointed out the reasons why Nigeria don’t need a national carrier in Nigeria.
Notable among those that kicked against the national carrier is an aviation expert, Managing Director/CEO of Smile Air, Mr Alexander Nwuba. He started by criticizing the name, logo and colour. He described the logo and the colour as lack of creativity.
“Nigeria Air, the name, quite a disappointment, the name Nigeria Airways became Nigeria Air, could have been more creative; worse, the logo, a green-white-green ribbon on a white background, please Google green white green ribbon and you will be sorely disappointed by the lack of creativity.”
The government said the national carrier will be managed by private investors without government intervention. So far, private sectors that have indicated interest to manage the airline are Ethiopian Airways and Qatar Airways.
He hit back at the government asking why they are negotiating for the aircraft since the airline will be managed by private operators without government intervention. He also suggests that the airline should be managed by capable Nigerians and foreigners. His reason is; if Nigeria air is successful, it will be a threat to the airline managing it.
“Should it be given to another airline to run? Absolutely not, it’s the pride of every Nigerian, capable Nigerians and capable foreigners should work together to make it a Nigerian success. My poser, would you give your wife to a competitor to perform a birth for you? Certainly not, a successful Nigeria Air is a threat to all incumbent national airlines of other countries that are also their pride.”
One thing that distinguished Mr Alexander Nwuba, from others that criticized that the new airline is that he offered a solution on how to make the Nigeria air work. He shared his rear expertise experience in the aviation industry.
Here are 6 points on how to make Nigeria Air work
First, no agreements with any African airlines, they are just trying to turn the lights off. Hire the best local talent with the right mix of global talent. Local talent understands the domestic market and customers; global talent understands the skin and bones of running an airline.
Second, right size the aircraft for the domestic market which was 4.5 million passengers in 2016.
Third, enhance Lagos airport as a regional hub
Fourth, build a regional network so that you enter into alliances with global carriers to feed traffic domestically and regionally.
Fifth, sign alliance agreements that create a Lagos to Everywhere Africa hub, this means sheath the plans to go to Dubai, China, USA etc. you’ll never be able to cover enough markets to be a real competitor.
Sixth, domesticate maintenance if you have new aircraft (which is not recommended) this requirement will not be a requirement for a few years. If you buy near new fuel-efficient aircraft, you’ll get prices that don’t break the bank or lease.
The market is waiting, so why was I opposed to it? Because I know the government can’t run anything.