Dust As US-Nigeria Open Skies Air Agreement Comes Into Force

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The United States-Nigeria Air Transport Agreement, which has been provisionally applied since 2000, has entered into force on May 13, 2024.

According to industry sources, Nigeria has always have an open sky agreement with the US, while it has BASA with other countries, however, the open skies allowed US carriers have unrestricted entrance into Nigerian cities and airports.

Speaking, an official of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, who craved anonymity, said the open skies is to the advantage of the United States against Nigeria

“The difference between open skies and Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA), is that while in BASA, the other country with higher capacity or extra seats will pay royalty, no such payment in open skies. The fact is its to the advantage of the US over Nigeria because When it didn’t favour US against UAE, its carriers cried foul and called for the cancellation with the middle east country and it led to a diplomatic row then by the two,” the ministry official stated.

However, in a statement issued on Friday by the United States Embassy in Abuja noted that this bilateral agreement established a modern civil aviation relationship with Nigeria consistent with U.S. Open Skies international aviation policy and with commitments to high standards of aviation safety and security.

The agreement includes provisions that allow for unrestricted capacity and frequency of services, open route rights, a liberal charter regime, and open code-sharing opportunities.

“This agreement with Nigeria is a step forward in liberalizing the international civil aviation sector in Africa and further expands our strong economic and commercial partnership, promotes people-to-people ties, and creates new opportunities for airlines, travel companies, and customers.

“With this agreement, air carriers can provide more affordable, convenient, and efficient air services to travelers and shippers, which in turn promotes tourism and commerce,” the statement added.

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