National carrier: Expert warns against partnership with European airlines

National carrier: Expert warns against partnership with European airlines

Monday, May 15, 2017 10:39 am

Hadi Sirika: Minister of State, Aviation

A tourism expert, Mr Ikechi Uko, has cautioned the Federal Government against partnering with European airlines in running its proposed national carrier.

Uko, who is the promoter of the Akwaaba African Travel and Tour Market, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.

NAN reports that the Federal Government recently appointed Germany’s Lufthansa Group as one of its transaction advisers for the establishment of a new national carrier.

Uko however noted that the appointment of transaction advisers showed that the government is determined to have the national carrier.

“So long that they are advisers and not partners I have nothing against that, but I will always kick against having a European partner for any African airline.

“The cultural differences have always worked against us, but since these ones are advisers, we should wait for their recommendations,” he said.

According to him, previous partnerships between Nigeria and Europeans have not always ended well.

“Nigeria has tried KLM, we have tried Virgin Atlantic and British Airways in the past and things did not work.

“I think this is caused by cultural differences. They come with a different mindset and we have our own mindset which cannot be changed overnight.

“They are coming believing that you are corrupt, ignorant and incompetent which already makes the business difficult,” Uko said.


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