The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, has disclosed that it is set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Algeria for a direct flight route between the two countries in a few months.
The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo revealed this when he received a delegation from Algeria led by the Algerian Ambassador to Nigeria in his office recently.
This is contained in a press statement by the Head of Press and Public Affairs, Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Sani Datti.
Keyamo disclosed that the Algeria delegation had reached out to Nigeria in the weeks for the reopening of the route between Algiers and Lagos to revive the BASA that hasn’t been taken advantage of over the years.
- “Although Nigeria has always had a bilateral air service agreement with Algeria (BASA) for decades, However, we haven’t taken advantage of the agreement. That agreement specifies the routes between Algiers and Lagos. Luckily, for both countries, there is a symbiotic relationship.”
- “Today they are here with a memorandum of understanding specifying, although in the spirit of opening up the sky in Africa, they want to add Abuja to their route and also give us the second largest city in Algeria in place of reciprocity for us to fly with our local airline, and that city is Oran,” Keyamo explained.
The minister reiterated the commitment of President Tinubu’s administration to protect domestic airlines.
He said that he informed the Algerian delegation about reciprocity for the domestic airlines operating in Nigeria, which they gladly acceded to.
Keyamo further revealed that the Federal Government would go over the details of the agreement brought forward by the Algerian delegation regarding reopening flight routes between both countries, adding that the process would be as quick as possible.
Speaking on when the MoU would be signed, the minister said that the signing of the flight agreement would either be done in Nigeria at a fixed date or in an international forum.
In his words, As a government, we are going to quickly look at this MoU from the face of it. We have no serious objection to it but we have a normal bureaucratic process that has to pass through as quickly as possible.”
“We are going to fix a day either here in Nigeria or in an international forum for the signing. We are very happy to have Air Algeria back on the soil of Nigeria.
We want competition; we want the price of air tickets to go down for the benefit of Nigeria. This is a symbiotic relationship; it is beneficial to Algeria and beneficial to Nigeria.”
On his part, the Ambassador of Algeria to Nigeria, Mr. Hocine Latli said the flight agreement between Nigeria and Algeria would restart the dynamic partnership and cooperation between both countries.
“You can’t have a tied partnership if you do not have a direct flight between the two countries, saying today we are trying to solve this problem of direct flight and restart the dynamic partnership and cooperation between the two countries, especially in the next few months”
“So, it is important today that we have reached a common point that the Hon Minister of Aviation and Aerospace has accepted the opening of direct flight from Algiers to Nigeria” he stated.