ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES SAYS IT’S A FRONTRUNNER IN BID TO SET UP, MANAGE NEW NIGERIAN CARRIER

ABUJA-- Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa's leading air carriers, says it is the frontrunner to set up and manage Nigeria's new national carrier, Nigeria Air, according to media reports from Addis Ababa.

We are among a small group with an interest in establishing a national carrier (in Nigeria) .... we do not know the results (of the tender), though we are (among) frontrunners, Ethiopian's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tewolde Gebremariam, told a media conference in Addis Ababa.

The state-owned carrier has outpaced regional competition, including Kenya Airways and South African Airways, to become Africa's largest airline by revenue and profit, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The airline has also been buying shares in other African airlines, a strategy aimed at gaining a competitive advantage against rivals such as those in the Gulf. It has a 49 per cent equity stake in Guinea Airlines, 45 per cent of Zambia Airlines, 49 per cent of Chad Airlines and full ownership of Ethiopian-Mozambique Airlines, said Tewolde,

Ethiopian already has contracts for maintenance work with two Nigeria-based carriers, Arik Air and Medview Airline, Tewolde said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK