The much-anticipated direct flights from Nigeria to India is set to commence on March 31, 2023, Mr Gangadharan Balasubramanian, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, has said.
Balasubramanian told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that Air Peace, a private Nigerian airline had concluded plans for the inaugural flight from Lagos to Mumbai, Bombay.
” I can announce to you that that Air Peace will be flying directly from Lagos to India on March 31st for the inaugural flight.
“This is part of the implementation of the
Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) aimed at deepening relations between both countries, so I have been invited for the inauguration, ” he said.
Balasubramanian explained that the direct flight would further strengthen economic, trade, bilateral relations, and people-to-people ties between both strategic countries.
“The volume of trade between both countries as at 2022 is 14.95 billion dollars, so we believe agreements such as this will go a long way in boosting our relations,” he said.
He expressed optimism that the new route would increase the volume of trade between both countries, while opening new vista of opportunities for citizens of both countries.
NAN reports that Nigeria and the Republic of India had in 2019 signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA), to deepen flight operations end to end.
Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika had expressed optimism that the agreement would further deepen cooperation between both countries.
BASA covers the basic framework under which airlines are granted bilateral rights to fly two countries. The frequency, designated airlines of the signatories, origin, intermediate points as well as traffic rights, type of aircraft and tax issues are normally covered by Memoranda of Understanding.
The new route is expected to further boost relations between both countries, as more than 135 indian companies currently operate in Nigeria.
India is becoming the prime destination for Nigerians seeking medical tourism, studies, businesses among others.