Four Nigerian carriers, Arik Air, Air Peace, Overland Air and Azman Air services have been slated to start flight operations from Nigeria to Niger.
The new development was disclosed during a meeting between Technical Committee from the Ministry of Transportation and the concerned airlines held on Wednesday 23rd of November, 2016 at the Aviation House, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) headquarters in Lagos.
According to an official statement signed by the General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye which was made available to newsmen at the weekend, the Committee and the Nigerian Civil Aviation have agreed to curb the voluminous road transportation between the two countries prior to commencement of flight operations.
Before now, Nigeria and Niger had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2015 to promote a seamless transit between the two neighbours.
NCAA in the statement stated that the MOU covers the multiple designation of the carriers; unlimited frequency to designated carriers of both countries; unrestricted capacity on any aircraft-type; entry points provided by Bilateral Air Service Agreement[BASA] for the carriers of the two countries are main three recognizable entry points.
While entry points for Nigerian carriers are Agadez, Niamey and Zenden, Nigerien carriers are Lagos, Abuja, and Kano. Also, the traffic right is unrestricted to and fro many points within Africa.
“Resultantly, NCAA has issued introductory letter to give the permit requisite authority to enable the duo set the ground running as Overland Air and Air Peace have both obtained Air Carrier Permits (ACP) which qualifies the two airlines to be bona fide Nigerian carriers to Niger”, the apex aviation agency stated.
It added “conversely, Overland Air has also got approval of the Nigerien CAA to kick start the flight operation starting by ending of January, 2017. The routes will be from Kano and Abuja”.
The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt.Muhtar Usman who was represented by Alh. Adamu Abudullai (Director of Consumer Protection) did not only enjoin the airlines to participate fully in this flight operation to Niger but to also do comprehensive market survey to yield profit for them.
On the other hand, the chairman of the Technical Committee, Mr. Ashibel Utsu implored the airlines and Nigerians to revive common cultural values between the two countries to facilitate trade and generate traffic in the two countries. He therefore appealed to the airlines to join the committee to visit Niamey, Niger on the 4th of December, 2016 for further discussion on matters of mutual interest to all the parties.
Similarly, the airlines expressed their gratitude to the Federal Government and the Ministry of Transportation for putting up this committee, thereby ensuring cordial relationship between Nigeria and Niger to enhance brighter future for the aviation sector.