The Ethiopian Airlines has faulted media reports that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tewolde Gebremariam, said the airline company was the frontrunner to manage Nigeria’s new National Carrier, Nigeria Air.
In a statement on Wednesday, the airline’s spokesman, Biniyan Demssie, said the statement by the company’s CEO was quoted out of context by the media.
“The Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines was misquoted by the media and never said Ethiopian Airlines is the frontrunner to partner in the Nigeria Air project.
“He said that Ethiopian, as a Pan-African airline, has expressed interest to partner in the project and is among those being considered by Nigerian Government,” the statement read.
Last week, Gebremariam was quoted as saying, “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 frontrunners.”
On Tuesday, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had said although the airline had tendered an offer to be partner in the project, it was not the favourite to set up and manage the new national carrier for Nigeria.
According to him, discussions were ongoing with prospective partners and investors ranging from development finance institutions, airlines and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
By Oluwasegun Olakoyenikan….
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