By OBINNA EZUGWU
West Africa’s largest airline, Air Peace, is set to begin flights to Tel Aviv, Israel.
This comes after the federal government designated the airline operate flight services to the Middle East nation.
Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema who disclosed the development to journalists, said the designation would help Nigeria to benefit from a Bilateral Air Service Agreement of several decades.
He also said the airline has been given the right to fly to Mumbai, India, adding that the service would commence by March.
“We will start the Mumbai route by March 2020. And later in the year, we will commence direct flight to Tel Aviv in Israel. We have been given the right to fly to Tel Aviv. After many years of bilateral relations, Nigeria has not been able to have direct flights to Israel,” Onyema said.
“The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has been addressing the proliferation of foreign airlines into Nigeria, especially multiple designations. A lot of foreign airlines have been applying for multiple designations but the government is trying to address it.
“Airline business does not make anyone richer but considering the number of employment opportunities it generates, we need to begin to promote support our indigenous carriers and other businesses.”
Onyema condemned the stigmatisation of Nigerians, regretting that it has become necessary to address such issues.
“In other countries, anyone creating at least 30 to 50 jobs is protected. But it is not so in Nigeria. Nigerians need to support indigenous enterprises,” he said.
Access to him, federal government could protect the jobs, reduce crime and have a saner society by protecting indigenous enterprises.