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Sat, Sep 2, 2023 2:00 PM

Reciprocity Clause: Nigerian Government Urged to Suspend British Airways and Virgin Atlantic

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Reciprocity Clause: Nigerian Government Urged to Suspend British Airways and Virgin Atlantic
The Nigerian Government has been urged to suspend British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airlines for non-adherence to the reciprocity clause in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement signed between Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, is calling for fairness and the enforcement of the agreement, as it seeks approval to operate on the lucrative Lagos-London route.

The Nigerian Government has been told to begin the suspension processes against British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways over the non-adherence to the reciprocity clause in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) signed between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

According to a statement by Mr. Stanley Olisa, the Spokesman for Air Peace, renowned lawyer Falana stated his position at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference in Abuja.

Falana emphasized that the BASA arrangements between the two countries ought to allow for a reciprocal exchange of flight operations on the route by designated airlines. He argued that it was unfair for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to continue flying into Nigeria without any Nigerian airline reciprocating such flights.

Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, has proven its capacity to operate on international routes and currently flies to China, Israel, India, South Africa, and others, using modern aircraft comparable to those of its foreign competitors.

Falana said, "If Air Peace is not allowed to fly to London, then British Airways and Virgin Atlantic should be stopped from flying to Nigeria."

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways both have about 21 weekly frequencies to Nigeria. British Airways operates 14 flights weekly to Lagos and Abuja, while Virgin Atlantic Airways has seven frequencies to Lagos from Heathrow Airport in London.

Air Peace had applied to fly the Lagos-London route, but the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA) is yet to grant approval for its operations.

The call for the suspension of the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic's operations in Nigeria is a significant move towards enforcing the reciprocity clause in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement. This would ensure fairness and equal opportunities for Nigerian airlines, promoting healthy competition in the air travel sector.

It is essential for the Nigerian Government to address this issue promptly and take necessary action in enforcing the reciprocity clause, safeguarding the interests of Nigerian airlines and promoting balanced international trade relationships in the aviation industry.

Air Peace's plea for fairness and its proven capacity to operate on international routes puts Nigerian airlines in a strong position to challenge the dominance of foreign airlines and pave the way for improved connectivity and growth in the Nigerian aviation sector.

By enforcing the reciprocity clause, the Nigerian Government will send a clear message to international airlines that the country is committed to promoting fair trade and creating an environment that supports the growth of its domestic carriers.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-02 News

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