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Bilateral Air Service Agreement with Israel: Airlines, experts praise Nigeria, Israel

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IMAGE: Arik Air Plane in Flight »



AIRLINES and experts have commended the Federal Government for signing of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with Israel, saying that this would reduce the cost of travelling to the Holy Land on pilgrimage and encourge indigenous airlines to operate on the lucrative route.

The country’s major carrier, Arik Air, said it would be willing to operate on the route if given the nod. It added that it has passed the security audit by the Israeli authorities. This means it could fly into the Holy Land when allowed to do so.

Also, MedView Airline, said it would be willing to operate into the country.

Chief Executive Officer, BelujaneKonsult,Chris Aligbe, said with the agreement, it would become easier to travel to Israel because the route would more open, unlike in the past when airlines from Nigeria would have to make special requests before being allowed to land in Israel.

He said with the opening of the route between the two countries, airlines may be designated to operate the route and this would make the fare to the Holy Land cheaper.

He also pilgrims could travel to Israel anytime, unlike when the Christian community in Nigeria plans their trips only at certain periods of the year.

At the diplomatic level, Aligbe, a former Corporate Affairs Manager of the defunct Nigeria Airways, said the deal was an indication that there is an improvement in the relations between both countries.

“The BASA agreement between Nigeria and Israel showed that Israel is beginning to have more confidence in Nigeria, and there are a lot of bridge building between the two countries, which was not so in the past,” Aligbe said.

Former President of Cabin Crew Association of Nigeria, Olu Fidel Ohunayo, gave kudos to the Federal Government for facilitating the deal. He described it as good, noting that it would lead to cheaper fares to Israel, adding that a scheduled and direct flight from Nigeria would be more convenient for travellers.

He said the government should designate the airlines to the route, because Israeli authorities may not put a flight service to Nigeria, because the country does not like flying to African destinations.

He cautioned that delay would be against the business opportunities offered by the agreement.

Article Credit: The Nation Newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago

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