The Nigerian government has chosen a consortium that reportedly includes EgyptAir (MS, Cairo Int'l) to help establish a new locally-based lessor.

According to Reuters, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement on Monday that the consortium would partner the government in a private/public partnership in which the state will hold a minority stake.

The new company will initially lease aircraft from international lessors and then lease them on to domestic operators.

At the same time, the ministry said it had short-listed the EgyptAir consortium as well as Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) over the establishment of a largescale MRO facility to be sited in either Lagos or Abuja.

The push to establish a locally-based lessor and MRO facility is part of the government's plan to improve Nigerian carriers' competitiveness by reducing their overall cost overheads. At present, said carriers are forced to rely on foreign lessors and MRO firms, requiring payment in hard currency.

The ch-aviation fleets advanced module indicates that several major international leasing firms currently have a presence in Nigeria, namely AerCap, ABRIC Leasing, Avmax Aircraft Leasing, ATR Leasing, Citibank, GECAS, and Standard Chartered Aviation Finance.