Nigeria to relaunch its national airline at the end of the year

Nigerian Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika unveils the name and logo of Nigeria's new national airline at the Farnborough International Air Show in London on July 18, 2018.

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)Nigeria unveiled a new national carrier Wednesday, nearly 15 years after the previous state-run airline, Nigerian Airways ceased operations.

The new airline will be known as Nigeria Air.
Nigerian Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika made the announcement and unveiled the new branding and livery for the airline at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK.
    "I'm very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country: Nigeria Air," Sirika said at the event.
    The name was chosen after Nigeria's Ministry of Aviation invited Nigerian youth and students to contribute "their ideas and creativity in developing the new Nigerian Flag carrier," according to the website nameyourairlinenigeria.com.
    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's media aide, Bashir Ahmad announced the name on Twitter.
    "And it's Nigeria Air ...Bringing Nigeria closer to the world #NigeriaAtFarnborough," Ahmad wrote, alongside a photo of the branding presented at Farnborough.
    According to Sirika, the federal government hopes to launch operations by the end of the year.
    Nigerians have greeted the announcement with skepticism as they expressed uncertainty about the federal government's capacity to sustain a national airline, especially considering its track record with previous national carriers.
    One man wrote on Twitter that he supported the creation of a national airline, "as long as it's not the government running it."
    Their fears may be allayed by reports that the airline will be primarily owned and managed by a group of a yet unidentified private investors.
    "The Nigerian Government will not own more than 5% (maximum) of the new National Carrier. The government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it," Sirika said at the press conference in Farnborough.
    Marketplace Africa covers the macro trends impacting the region and profiles the continent's key industries and corporations.
    However, some are also questioning the government's involvement in bargaining with aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing in light of Sirika's statement.
    "No private investors named but the govt that will supposedly own a tiny percentage is leading negotiations for aircraft purchase and drawing logo in Calibri font. Carry on," London-based Nigerian commentator, Feyi Fawehinmi wrote on Twitter.