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.”
Gebremariam stressed the need for African airlines to collaborate in order to withstand stiff competition from so-called international “mega carriers.”
Non-African airlines now carry 80 percent of the passenger traffic between Africa and the rest of world. “In the 1990s African airlines had a 40 percent share,” he said.
“Unless we cooperate and change the diminishing market share of African airlines, there will not be any homegrown airlines after ten years,” he said.
Arik Air has been embroiled in series of legal tussel between the government and its shareholder. The shareholders had earlier  filed a N20billion suit against AMCON and Ethiopia Airline  over plans  by the government to hand-over the management of the airline to Ethiopian Airline.
Arik Air ranks as the largest private airline in Nigeria and has served as its de-facto national carrier since Air Nigeria ceased operation in 2012.