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Foreign Airlines May Stop Enjoying Multiple Entry Points

Posted by By Ndubuisi Francis on 2005/04/26 | Views: 409 |

Foreign Airlines May Stop Enjoying Multiple Entry Points


Indications emerged at the weekend that the Federal Government may reverse the generous policy that allows foreign airlines operating in the country multiple entry points other that what is contained in the Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASAs) between Nigeria and their home countries.

FG: Open Skies Agreement with U.S remains

Indications emerged at the weekend that the Federal Government may reverse the generous policy that allows foreign airlines operating in the country multiple entry points other that what is contained in the Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASAs) between Nigeria and their home countries.

Aviation Minister, Mallam Isa Yuguda, who was responding to a question during an interview on what the government would do on the multiple entry points policy in view of the fact that Virgin Nigeria is to take off soon, said the policy is not a permanent feature and is liable to review.

"It will interest you to know that these things are not permanent. The government has made it very clear that Lagos is going to be a hub. Much as there are some airlines which would want more than one destination, in due course, airlines will be reduced to one destination; they will be restricted to one destination.

"They will choose where they will want to fly into. We would allow them to do that going by the BASA and this will at least help our local airlines", he said.

Currently, virtually all the foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have multiple entry points, apart from the only one allowed them in the BASA, a development that has drawn the ire of the domestic operators who see the policy as tantamount to strangulating them

For instance, going by the BASA, German carrier, Lufthansa should fly into Lagos alone but currently operates into three Nigerian cities of Lagos, Abuja and recently, Port Harcourt.

British Airways is also operating into Lagos and Abuja and is also eyeing other destinations just as Virgin Atlantic Airways operates into Lagos and Port Harcourt.

Air France operates into Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano even as KLM operates into Lagos and Kano.

Meanwhile, Yuguda has assured that the Open Skies Agrrement between Nigeria and the United States of America will not be reviewed despite that country's ban on Virgin Nigeria and the Federal Government's decision to stop American carrier, Continental Airlines from coming into Nigeria.

The Open Skies Agreement was signed between both countries in 2000 and by its provisions, airlines from both countries are to enjoy unfettered access to each other's airspace.

"As far as we are concerned, the concern raised by the American government for not allowing Virgin Nigeria (VN) to fly to their country, which we have adequately explained to the government, should be resolved so that Continental Airlines will have free access into our country and vice versa.

"Continental is an airline that is approved by the American government. Virgin Nigeria too is an airline that is approved and owned by Nigeria and should be allowed to fly into the United States. Their denying Virgin Nigeria flights into the U.S is giving us great concern.

"And you know that we have an Open Skies Agreement with the U.S. It is (ban on Continental Airlines) not a retaliatory measure but it is a kind of thing that calls for food for thought. The Open Skies Agreement is in no way going to frustrate our moves; it is supposed to enhance and open nations, making liberalisation easier", he said.

He stated that the idea of reviewing the Open Skies Agreement with the United States over the differences arising from Virgin Nigeria and Continental Airlines did not arise, adding: "But what we want is to get a fair treatment by our partners and America being a developed country, they should be able to impact on us positively".

He said that President Bush's safe Open Skies policy should be supported "and they should see it not as a threat or a problem to America".

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.