Minister Keyamo Applauds Air Peace’s Lagos-London Flights for Easing Naira Pressure

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, highlighted the significance of Air Peace’s commencement of Lagos-London flight services in reducing pressure on the Naira compared to the Dollar. Speaking during Air Peace’s inaugural flight ceremony at Terminal 2 of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, Keyamo emphasized the government’s commitment to supporting local operators in accessing aircraft lease arrangements, similar to what Air Peace has achieved.

Keyamo noted that Air Peace’s operations on the London route would alleviate concerns about trapped funds and ensure the airline’s continued flight services. He highlighted that as a local company, Air Peace conducts transactions in Naira, eliminating the need for the government to repatriate ticket sales to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This approach, according to Keyamo, would bolster Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves and reduce pressure on the Naira.

Addressing the challenges faced by airlines operating in Nigeria, Keyamo emphasized the importance of establishing a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility in the country. He expressed optimism about potential investments in Nigeria’s aviation sector, citing interest from Chinese, Arab, and American investors. Keyamo stressed the need for favorable terms in aircraft lease agreements to ensure the sustainability of airlines operating on international routes like the Lagos-London route.

Regarding the previous failures of airlines on the London route, Keyamo attributed these failures to challenges in accessing aircraft on favorable terms, rather than issues related to Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) politics. He expressed confidence in Air Peace’s ability to sustain its operations, acknowledging the company’s efforts despite facing significant expenses and challenges.

Keyamo highlighted Nigeria’s previous challenges with dry lease arrangements due to lessors’ concerns. He emphasized the need to improve Nigeria’s reputation in lease arrangements to attract more investment in the aviation sector.

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