The Federal Government has said Nigeria Air will begin operations in 2022 with three hired planes.
Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
Speaking at the press conference on Thursday, the minister said operations of the new airline would commence with a wet-lease of three aircraft, adding that the arrangement would remain in place pending when the company ordered new planes.
According to him, it would take about three to five years to get an ordered aircraft delivered.
He said: “They will start with wet-leased aircraft and that’s how 90 per cent of airlines in the world would have started.
“So they will start with a wet-lease of three aircraft and then continue to expand, place orders and then get deliveries.”
Sirika stated that the Federal Government would not manage the carrier, rather investors in the carrier would run the business.
He also disclosed that requests for proposals to investors who are keen on owning shares in the proposed national carrier would soon be made public.
He said: “Nigeria Air would be quoted on the stock exchange and Nigerians would be allowed to buy shares in the airline.
“We will release what is called Request for Proposals very soon, I believe next week. And this Request for Proposals will describe what and what we are asking for,” he said.
“You will now go and send us a document that you are proposing to partner us and this is what you are giving us.
“Then we will sit down, evaluate, discuss and choose a strategic partner or partners for this airline.
“So Request for Proposals are going out next week and by the grace of God we will continue to pursue that and people will show up.”
The minister added that 46 per cent of the stake that will be owned by Nigerians would be acquired through shares purchase.