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Domestic carriers set to benefit

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President Muhammadu Buhari has ratified the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) with the United States, India, Morocco and Rwanda.

This will create a window for the country to draw benefits from BASA, which over the years, has been lopsided due to inadequate capacity by indigenous carriers.

With the new arrangement, domestic carriers are set to actualise the reciprocity on the listed routes.

Before now, only few indigenous carriers operate on intercontinental routes.

Chairman, Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema applauded the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to ratify agreement.

Other operators also commended the government on the development, describing it as a good window for indigenous operators to demonstrate their capacity.

Buhari endorsed the instrument for the ratification of the BASA with the four countries last month.

Onyema described the signing of the agreements as another testimony of the commitment of the government to the growth of the domestic aviation industry.

He emphasised that the determination of the government to raise the local bar was deep, stressing that the era of lopsidedness against Nigeria in international aviation was over.

With these agreements, he said, the Federal Government had challenged indigenous operators to build capacity and remain competitive in the global air space, adding that this would lead to increased job opportunities and ancillary benefits to the domestic economy.

Onyema in a statement said: “This couldn’t have happened at a better time than now that the domestic industry requires all the support to stay afloat.

“It is most commendable and I promise Mr. President that the gains thereof shall be fully harnessed.”

To the minister, he said: “His determination to raise the local bar is palpable. I can say for sure that the era of lop-sidedness against Nigeria in international aviation is over.

“What Mr. President has done is a call for local operators to build capacity and remain competitive in the global air space. This shall increase job opportunities and ancillary benefits to the domestic economy. I thank you Mr President for this patriotic master stroke.”

Meanwhile, Air Peace at the weekend took delivery of a new ERJ-145 aircraft to help boost its domestic and regional operations.

The aircraft, with registration number 5N-BXF, arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at the weekend.

Breaking the news to reporters, the spokesperson of the airline, Stanley Olisa, said the new arrival is a 50-seater aircraft.

He stated, “We are very glad to announce the arrival of our eighth Embraer 145 Jet, another addition to the fleet of our subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper.”

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