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Nigerian Airlines to commence direct flights to America route, says Keyamo

TWO months after Nigeria’s Air Peace flight commenced its direct flight to the United Kingdom en-route, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has announced that local airlines will soon launch direct flights to America and South America.

This would be the first-ever direct flight between Nigeria and South America.

Keyamo gave the information in a monitored interview with the Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, Otega Ogra, during which he provided an update on developments following Air Peace’s approval to fly the Lagos-Gatwick route.

He said that the planned expansion of local airlines’ routes to these countries is part of the federal government’s strategy to enhance Nigerian private airlines’ competitiveness on international routes, which have long been dominated by foreign airlines, aiming to drive down airfare prices.

According to Keyamo, this initiative aims to increase competition, ultimately driving down airfare prices and making air travel more accessible.

“We used Airpeace as an example to show what we want to do with private airlines that it is not about bailout funds but government firm support to make it happen for them. We are just eight months in office, you will begin to see results as time goes on,” the minister said.




     

     

    The ICIR reported that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Nigeria has cleared 98 per cent of foreign airlines’ trapped funds, urging the country to clear the remaining two per cent of the residual $19 million funds.

    Keyamo also informed that the Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs) with other sovereign nations are being enforced as well as amendment of local laws to encourage aircraft lessors to lease their assets to Nigerian operators

    He mentioned ongoing discussions with the Attorney General of the Federation and Justices of the Supreme Court to revise laws that permit private airlines in Nigeria to secure court injunctions in cases where they fail to meet their lease obligations to international creditors.

    The ICIR reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the conclusion of the verified backlog owed foreign airlines with an additional $64.44 million release.

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    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold power into account. You can send him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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