Ethiopian Airlines has ended take-over negotiations with the government of Nigeria to assume the management of Arik Air, one of the largest airlines in Nigeria.
Confirming this to AIN Online in an interview, Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam said the airline decided to end the take-over talks with Nigeria due to financial and legal complications.
However, Gebremariam said Ethiopian remains interested in starting an airline in Nigeria. “At least there are two initiatives that we are closely following,” he said. “The first initiative is the national airline that the government of Nigeria is undertaking with Lufthansa Consulting Services.
We have submitted our expression of interest. On the other hand, we are discussing [possibilities] with private carriers in Nigeria. We may pick one of them and work with them.”
Nigerian government had earlier in the year approached Ethiopian Airlines to manage Arik Air following its takeover by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in February, 2017.
Ethiopian Airlines is the most profitable and succesful airline in Africa and has become the first choice of African countries who are looking for strategic partners in aviation development.
Recently, Zambia chose Ethiopian as the strategic partner to reestablish its national carrier. Ghanaian government has also shortlisted Ethiopian as one of the airlines to relaunch its national carrier.