Nigeria Airways was the biggest airline in Nigeria and had its heyday in the 1980’s. The airline had its base at Airways House in Abuja, and concentrated most of its activity out of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, serving passengers for domestic and international flights in West Africa.
Through years of mismanagement and owing billions in unpaid debt, Nigeria Airways was formally succeeded by Virgin Nigeria, and its ground facilities were taken over by Arik Air.
Before Nigeria Airways ceased operations, it flew to 4 domestic destinations, namely Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. Its international destinations included Abidjan, Dubai, Jeddah, London and New York.
After Nigeria Airways ceased operations and became Virgin Nigeria Airways, Virgin Nigeria became the flagship carrier for the country. It had routes around Nigeria and West Africa, as well as London and Saudi Arabia.
Between the years of 2008-2010 however, Virgin withdrew from the company and it became Air Nigeria. In 2012, due to the same problems that had brought Nigeria Airways to its knees, Air Nigeria ceased operations.
Nigeria Air is a new proposed airline that will be the flagship carrier for Nigeria. The airline was founded in July of 2018, and the logo and name were unveiled at a ceremony at Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom. Operations are due to commence in December 2018.
Ethiopian Airlines is due to have a stake in the airline, but the Minister of State Aviation, Hadi Sirika, insists that the airline will be privately owned and the government will have no say in how it is run, only the investors will.
The Nigerian government is currently in talks with Airbus and Boeing, as they will be the suppliers of the aircraft for the airline.
When it comes to destinations, Nigeria has a bilateral service agreement with 70 countries. The airline is currently looking at a potential 81 destinations to serve, but it has stated that a much smaller number will be used, to begin with.