Local airlines must demonstrate capacity for US flights – Ministry

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development has stated that Nigerian airlines must demonstrate enhanced capacity and consistency, as well as meet the necessary criteria, to fly US and other international routes.

This was disclosed by the spokesperson for the ministry, Tunde Moshood, adding that Nigeria was poised to enhance its international aviation footprint, according to The Punch.

Moshood said that Nigerian flag carriers, Air Peace and Aero Contractors, could set up flights to the United States if they exhibited capacity and consistency.

“We already have the BASA (Bilateral Air Service Agreements) in place. It is just for us to have any of our flag carriers that show capacity and consistency.

“If Air Peace and Air Contractors can come to us and say ‘I have a plane to go to the United States’, they can push.

“Qatar and all those airlines that are flying in here (Nigeria), we also have reciprocating BASA to fly. If they can come here, we can also go there. If we can have a national carrier, automatically we will be flying there.”

Recall, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo had in May 2024, revealed plans to lower foreign flight fares and ensure that local operators dominate international routes, beginning with the United States.

He also detailed the steps being taken to ensure that local operators get complete control of international routes in the near future.

He added that his ministry, through President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, was on track to break down such impediments and create a conducive environment to the growth of both domestic and international airlines.

Meanwhile, The Chief Operating Officer of United Nigeria Airlines, Osita Okonkwo, Osita Okonkwo, Chief Operating Officer of United Nigeria Airlines, said that the company was preparing to launch flights to Texas, USA.

“We are designated to go to the US, Texas in particular. We are going through the process. You know the CAA process can take three to six months. So, that is what we are doing now. We are doing the regulatory, legal, and the commercial side of it. Once that is done, we will make the announcements. It takes some time, but work is going on behind,” he noted.

However, the Managing Director of Aglow Aviation Support Services, Tayo Ojuri, Tayo Ojuri, Managing Director of Aglow Aviation Support Services, emphasized the necessity for Nigerian airlines to build connectivity and collaborations with global aviation alliances such as Star Alliance or Oneworld.

“These partnerships, known as codeshare agreements, are crucial for distributing passengers and sustaining long-haul routes.

“Which of the Nigerian Airlines have connectivity and codeshare with anybody else? That codeshare with either Star Alliance or Oneworld would help them to distribute passengers,” Ojuri stated.

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