(TVLW) – The Federal Government has urged the United States government to reciprocate its acceptance of its airlines to operate into Nigeria.
Government urged the US government to quickly enhance operations of three domestic airlines that have been designated to fly into US, in cognisance of the open skies agreement between the two countries. Minister of State for Air Transport, Mr Felix Hassan Hyat, said this yesterday during the inaugural flight of the US -based Delta Airline, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The Federal Government had designated Arik Air, Bellview and Virgin Nigeria Airways on the US route, but they are yet to start flying to that country until the Federal Aviation Administration of US approves after auditing the nation’s aviation industry.
Hyat said, “the coming of Delta Airline will solve a lot of problems associated with flying directly to the US by Nigerian passengers and the direct flight will concretise and improve economic relationships between both countries.”
“Also, there should be reciprocity, as the Nigerian carriers that are designated to fly the United States route any time soon, Arik Air, Bellview and Virgin Nigeria should be given the same respect given to Delta Airlines here in Nigeria,” he said.
The United States Consular-General, Donna Blair, had earlier said the connection between both countries is as a result of strong commercial and economic relationship, stating that last year, both countries had bilateral trade of over $30 billion in all kinds of products from oil to wheat.”This new air bridge between us will strengthen social andeconomic ties between both countries and we are grateful to the minister of transportation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria for making the day possible,” she said.Vice President, Sales and Affairs Europe, Middle East and Africa,Mr Frank Jahangir, said “we are excited to expand our global reach. As the only carrier to operate non-stop service to the United States from Lagos.”