FG Reiterates Support For Local Airlines

The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to support the growth of local airlines in the country to enable them to flourish and remain in business.

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo stated this in London on Friday, while holding discussions with the management of NORSE Atlantic Airways led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ben Boiling.

According to a statement by the Head, of Press and Public Affairs, Odutayo Oluseyi, the discussions centered on the partnership of NORSE Atlantic Airways with the leading Nigeria’s domestic carrier, Air Peace Airline.

NORSE Atlantic Airways is a major carrier in the UK and Europe.

The Minister who gave credence to the spread of Air Peace on regional and international routes stated that NORSE Atlantic Airways’ partnership with Air Peace Airline is the right step in the right direction.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria emphasized that one of his Key Performance Indicators [KPI] and presidential directive was ensuring the growth and development of domestic airlines.

He added that aviation is one of the key components of the Renewed Hope Agenda trust of the current administration to revive Nigeria’s economy.

Mr. Boiling on his part thanked the Minister for being part of the discussions and that NORSE Atlantic Airways was ready to start the partnership with Air Peace Airline the moment the final authorisation was granted to Air Peace Airline for the commencement of direct flights into Gatwick Airport in London from Lagos, Nigeria.

Nigeria Aeronautical Authority officials from the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority [NCAA] were in London to discuss with the officials of the Department for Transport of the UK on how to surmount the issue of slot allocation to Air Peace Airline to fly into Gatwick Airport in London.

Also at the meeting were the top executive management team of Air Peace Airline led by its Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, and Ms Nnenna Onyema, Executive Director.

Since securing its authorisation to fly into the UK, after satisfying all the requirements, the issue of slot allocation at Gatwick Airport has been the major obstacle preventing the Airline from commencing the direct flight into London.

Though the officials of the Department for Transport at the meeting made it known that the Government of the UK had no authority over the allocation of slots at the eight primary airports in the UK, they agreed to raise the concern of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the relevant authorities on the three major issues presented on behalf of Air Peace Airline which were- the staggering departure time; restrictive turn around time; and approval for the 2024 summer schedule.

It is hoped that the fallout of the meeting will achieve its purpose of enabling Air Peace Airline to commence its flight operations into the United Kingdom, which Nigerians have been yearning for.

Officials of the Nigerian Aeronautical Authority at the meeting were Capt. Chris Najomo, Ag. Director General of NCAA; Mr Hassan Ejibunu, Director, Air Transport Management of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development; and Mrs. Olayinka Babaoye-Iriobe, Director, Air Transport Regulations of NCAA.

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