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|FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by PointB: 8:28am On Nov 03, 2011|
FG Slashes BA’s Flights to Nigeria
03 Nov 2011
By Chinedu Eze
In what is considered a retaliatory move, the Federal Government has slashed British Airways’ (BA) flights to Lagos from seven times a week to three, with effect from Tuesday, November 8.
Before the flight reduction, the United Kingdom national carrier, which has operated into Nigeria for over 75 years, was flying seven times weekly to Lagos and same number of times to Abuja.
The Ministry of Aviation, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) confirmed the directive given to BA.
The Federal Government’s decision to slash the frequency of the airline to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, is not unconnected with the forced suspension of Arik Air flights to London Heathrow from Abuja by UK’s Airport Coordination Limited (ACL) which denied the Nigerian airline the landing slots it requested.
This is the second time BA has run into a storm with Nigerian authorities, the first being when the military government under Gen. Sani Abacha banned the airline from flying into the country in the heat of British opposition to his government in 1996.
With the latest directive, BA’s landing and take-off times for the airline have also been rescheduled. Instead of landing at about 5.30pm and taking off at about 10.45pm, the airline will now arrive Lagos at 6.00am and leave at 10.00am.
This will adversely affect the airline’s passengers’ connectivity in Europe as they will have to wait for long hours at Heathrow before connecting to their final destinations.
In a statement, BA said that it was doing everything possible to resolve the issue, adding that the matter was now in the hands of its home government.
“We are doing all we can to resolve this issue. The matter is now in the hands of the British Government which is speaking with the Nigerian authorities. At the moment, all flights are scheduled to operate as planned and we will keep our customers informed if there are any changes to their flights,” it said.
In the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA), which Nigeria signed with the government of Britain, both countries agreed that airlines from the UK would fly 21 times to Nigeria and vice-versa.
But while UK has British Airways and Virgin Atlantic which fully utilise these frequencies, Nigeria has only Arik Air that utilises 14 frequencies only as the airline operates from Lagos to Heathrow and from Abuja to Heathrow seven times a week each.
BA does the same from both Abuja and Lagos for the same number of flights, while Virgin Atlantic flies to Heathrow from Lagos seven times a week.
The Chairman of Arik Air, Sir Joseph Arumemi Ikhide, explained to newsmen last week that the BASA signed between the two countries was only beneficial to British carriers.
He recalled that during the signing of the agreement years ago, both governments agreed to assist airlines owned by both countries that wished to fly into each other’s airspace.
But while British carriers freely come into Nigeria without hindrances, Arik Air, the only Nigerian airline that operate into Britain, faced impediments, including the denial of slot to land at Heathrow.
Ikhide lamented that when it was time for them to fly from Abuja to London, the British government told them that there were no slots and that at that point, the airline had to rent slots from the British Midland International (BMI) at £1.4 million between 2009 and 2010, disclosing that the airline paid an initial deposit of £600,000.
He further explained that the airline paid £52,250 monthly to BMI and after the expiration of that, the company increased it to £90,000 per month and that when the airline tried to negotiate the amount, BMI refused to shift ground and later ACL, which gives slots, said that there was no more slots.
When Arik insisted, ACL gave out uncoordinated slots to Arik Air which were not good for scheduled flight operations, thus frustrating the airline out of the route.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Kx: 8:35am On Nov 03, 2011|
Yet they are both active members of common wealth!
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by OmoLisabi(m): 8:42am On Nov 03, 2011|
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by edoyad(m): 8:48am On Nov 03, 2011|
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by gists: 8:53am On Nov 03, 2011|
For the 1st time I have to clap for GEJ. It's long overdue to call the bluff of these western powers. I just hope it will be sustained as I am afraid they will chicken-out b4 we can blink our eyes to protect their foreign accounts.
I hope GEJ extend the same move to MTN (I heard they moved their HQ to Ghana- yet project fame is perpetually hosted by naija where the market really lies) Micheline, and other companies that have abandoned Nigeria for Ghana.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by tayo_tee(m): 9:35am On Nov 03, 2011|
nice one!!!!!! The lion in GEJ is roaring at cunning Cameron **smh**
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by anishe(m): 9:46am On Nov 03, 2011|
I think this is a good development. Nigeria is not inferior to the UK if only our leaders know what they are doing.
Kudos to GEJ for this. Atleast, he has done something worth commmending.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by boneruns(m): 10:10am On Nov 03, 2011|
Yes, our president is begining to possess minute traits of Gadaffi. No more inferiority.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by daywatcher: 10:17am On Nov 03, 2011|
Go Jona Go Jona Go
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by KacHemNaU(m): 10:21am On Nov 03, 2011|
Strict problems require strict solution and thats what GED has done
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by maxta: 10:24am On Nov 03, 2011|
@least, this once, They made a move!
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Akingbiz: 10:40am On Nov 03, 2011|
Hey ya na so them be.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by ifyalways(f): 10:43am On Nov 03, 2011|
Lets see how this plays out.
Can they extend same measure to VS please,cos BA and VS share about 75 slots while Nigeria has just Arik with far lesser slots.
I just hope they won't chicken out laterz. . .
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Yankee01: 10:49am On Nov 03, 2011|
Nice 1. Hope they can continue this way and address other pressing issues
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Yankee01: 10:55am On Nov 03, 2011|
I wonder !
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by damola1: 10:57am On Nov 03, 2011|
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by blackpanda: 11:01am On Nov 03, 2011|
oh my God! Finally, this Government is rising up to challenges!
Truly breathe of fresh air!
GEJ, this is wat we want to be seeing abeg!!!
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by oladayo042: 11:05am On Nov 03, 2011|
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by blacksta(m): 11:06am On Nov 03, 2011|
Oyinbo man only understands fire for fire and not the usual begging. Watch how the Arik - London route is automatically reverted.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Guk: 11:21am On Nov 03, 2011|
Whilst we have not been provided with enough information to make sensible judgement of this empasse, it would have been educative to know what roles the Trade and Commerce section of the Nigerian High Commission in London did on behalf of Arik and also whether Trade and Investment Ministry has intervened without success because the truth is, do we know whether ARIK itself has complied with the rules of the Aviation Authourities over the years? We have only heard from one side.
As for reducing the number of flihts for BA & time of arrival and take off, its akin to 'cutting one's nose to spite the face'. Has the aviation ministry checked how many nigerians fly on BA in relation to expatriates? We are probably more on the plane. You have just succeeded in inconviniencing your own people just to appear to adopt a bravado stance which doesnt excite the discerning traveller. Who will suffer from less frequency when coming home for christmas? Nigerians and BA. Our leaders need to think through things before shooting sporadically. And, can i rely on the intelligence of the Minister who came on TV and told us, to each ask the Pilot for weather conditions before allowing him to take off. Does she think Pilots are suicide professionals who will fly into bad weather against advice?
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Guk: 11:22am On Nov 03, 2011|
And what happens if ARIK was just crying wolf?
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Gbenge 77(m): 11:22am On Nov 03, 2011|
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Ten Kobo: 11:23am On Nov 03, 2011|
Dinho deserves commendation for this bold move, i really don't know why they keep cowering before a collapsing Britain that is almost a third world country if not worse than some.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Konnektions146(m): 11:38am On Nov 03, 2011|
i really applaud this govt. for this bold step
absolute nonsense, for God`s sake they have 2 airlines here (BA and virgin) so y not allow the only one we have (Arik)?
the market and business is here, how many britons visit naija weekly?
nigeria is the market and we have the power only if we can use it for own good,
there are so many other moves of same such that like this CHINA and INDIA people, they need to really streamline their operations in Nigeria.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by PHIPEX(m): 11:45am On Nov 03, 2011|
My friend go and sitdown, is BA the only airline around? It's probably because of ur type that these foreign govts treats us as if we are worthless because they know we shall come to beg for our rights. Learn to take ur right elso no one will give it to u.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Guk: 11:45am On Nov 03, 2011|
It is such a shame that people are applauding this tit for tat retaliatory move. From the write up the issues are clear and existed for ever. We should not heap blame on our non performance on others.
(1) The BASA give Nigerian Carriers & UK carriers equal rights. We fail to utilise ours fully and then you applaud retaliation when you should be castigating your govt for not providing an enabling environment for local carriers to compete.
(2) ARIK did not get slots it requested for (do we know what slots they requested for? what if they requested for already taken slots so as to cause brohahu that will give them excuse from paying oustanding dues if any?) Some times we should be slow to speak and quick to listen well.
(3) Is it not our same govt that forcefully ejected Virgin Nigeria domestic operations from MMIA because MMA2 coerced it?
Please be careful not to succumb to these politicians diversionary tactics. Busy chasing shadows and neglecting substance
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by mujila: 11:47am On Nov 03, 2011|
Arik is only crying wolf as they can not compete on the route. No passenger will like to cramp himself in a 737 with no inflight entertaiment for a long journey with the fares Arik is charging. Their flights have registered less than 25% loads which means they were bleeding on the route. The issue of slots at Heathrow is a known factor,virgin nigeria then could not get slots but decided to fly to Gatwick which they did with a level of success. If Arik can not get slots in Heathrow why fly there,move to Gatwick orLondon city airport and convince Nigerians to patronise their own carriers! If the govt is serious let them pass a law that will stop any govt official from flying a foreign carrie rif there is a local carrieir that service that route! This is just nonsense!
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by dancewith: 11:48am On Nov 03, 2011|
Have you heard the phrase: What is the essence of peace without justice? People and nations go to war, knowing full well some will be killed, to fight for justice. The central theme here is 'justice' not about inconveniencing people.
If the move brings some hardship to people, the wider implication of allowing such discriminatory policy is worse.
This should be applauded by all and thinkings as yours is what has kept us backward through the ages.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Claus(m): 12:10pm On Nov 03, 2011|
I will comment on this based on the info I have and hope to be forgiven if I'm missing something here.
The rataliatory move by the Nigerian govt is wrong! The issue Arik had was that they could not get landing slots at Heathrow, one of the busiest airports in the world. Many other airlines face the same issue and work around it by utilising Gatwick, Stansted etc. Arik is not the only airline that has had problems getting slots at Heathrow.
The U.K. govt did not reduce the number of times that Arik (or any other Nigerian airline) can fly into the U.K. The previous agreement of 21 flights for each country still stands. This is a demand and supply issue. Heathrow is heavily oversubscribed, unlike the Lagos and Abuja airports. It will always be much easier for the British carriers to get a slot in Lagos/Abuja, than for a Nigerian carrier to get a slot at Heathrow. Someone rightly gave the example of how Virgin Nigeria used Gatwick, that is one way around it.
It's NOT the British govt's fault and it is not BA's fault; the retaliatory move is very short sighted.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by room702(m): 12:24pm On Nov 03, 2011|
how do you know the bolded info. is true?
i don't think the Govt. will retaliate like that if that is the case.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by Claus(m): 12:37pm On Nov 03, 2011|
That's what's been reported in the news reports where we all got this story from.
Arik were not able to secure their own landing slots at Heathrow due to scarcity. They were therefore asked to lease one from BMI who later decided to increase the rent to an amount that was no longer sustainable for Arik, who in turn decided they couldn't carry on with the route.
That is the information provided to us till date. If more information comes out, then we can make an even more informed judgement about the decisions being taken.
|Re: FG Slashes British Airway's Flights To Nigeria by munaco: 12:46pm On Nov 03, 2011|
i go like see part 3 of this movie. i won know who go win. na white abi na black or make i cucu call am stalemate. abeg give us electricity, petrol and kerosine for my food. that side way una dey fight na for big man, e no concern me poor 70 percent poor citizen but me like the love oooooo.
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