Reports: Nigerian government to buy 30 aircraft
The Nigerian government plans to buy 30 aircraft for the nation’s domestic carriers to improve efficiency and lower the cost of air travel, according to media reports.
The comments were attributed to Yakubu Dati, corporate communications general manager of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, during an inspection of the renovated Benin Airport Wednesday. Dati said the initiative would replace the former practice of distributing funding direct to airlines, which they had allegedly misused.
The acquisitions would be funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria in conjunction with Bank of Industry.
Dati was reported as saying the infusion of new aircraft—together with other governmental measures such as the removal of taxes on aircraft spare parts—would help cut costs for both airlines and passengers. “This is to help the airlines operate profitably and also make it more attractive for investors because spare parts are the major cost component on the aviation sector,” he said.
Reduced costs should lead to cheaper tickets and higher passenger traffic levels. Dati said, “The whole idea is to make the business cheaper and easier to operate so that Nigerians who are the ultimate beneficiaries should be the passengers and they should board with cheaper tickets. We believe that a one-hour flight in Nigeria shouldn’t cost more than N10,000 ($65) or N15,000.”
In November, Nigerian government officials held preliminary talks with Embraer over government acquisition of new aircraft, saying that Nigeria’s domestic carriers generally used inappropriate equipment for their operations.
It is uncertain how many of the 30 aircraft Nigeria might come from Embraer if the deal goes ahead. An Embraer spokesman declined to comment.