The Nigerian regional airline has received approval from the government for long-haul routes. But she still has no planes.
United Nigeria Airlines is still a regional airline. With four Embraer E-145 aircraft, the airline serves nine routes within the African country in the Gulf of Guinea. However, if owner and managing director Obiorah Okonkwo plans, his airline will soon be operating on long-haul routes.
The three-year-old airline has crossed its first hurdle. Punch news portal writes that the Nigerian government on September 8 gave the airline permission to start flights to the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.
Approved by six countries
Specifically, this concerns flights from Lagos to Amsterdam, Rome, Dubai, United London, Houston and Dublin. However, this is only the first step in a long journey. Next, airlines have to apply to the civil aviation authorities of specific countries.
United Nigerian Airlines also does not have a proper aircraft. Although the airline is getting twelve new aircraft over the next two years, two Embraer E-190s or ten E-175s do not provide enough range for direct flights to the US or Europe.
America has nothing to do with Europe
Therefore, it is not clear that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or its European counterpart, ESA, will allow flights to a young airline that lacks international experience and knowledge in operating long-haul flights. This name can be problematic, especially for flights to the US.
There are international routes to Nigeria which are only served by foreign airlines. Delta Air Lines flies daily from Atlanta to Lagos. United Airlines connects the Nigerian capital with Washington three times a week. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly to Nigeria from London and KLM from Amsterdam.
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