United Airlines returns to Nigeria in November five years after exit - BUSINESSDAY
JUNE 02, 2021
BY Ifeoma Okeke
United Airlines is returning to Lagos airspace in November five years after its voluntary exit.
The return of the airline was disclosed by Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, (NAHCO ) Plc, in a statement.
According to NAHCO, it would be handling contracts for United States-based United Airlines for the next three years, adding that it is the preferred partner, providing passenger and ground handling services.
The airline exited Nigeria following challenges with crashed oil prices and a flailing economy. The Lagos – Houston route which was once a favourite especially for oil sector workers and executives has suffered a major decline in patronage.
In addition, airlines operating in Nigeria at the time faced a hard time with foreign exchange restrictions.
Prince Saheed Lasisi, NAHCO’s group executive director, Business Development and Commercial, who expressed excitement on the feat while making the announcement, described it as a boost for the industry, ‘’NAHCO is excited to be the chosen one, we welcome United Airlines back to our airspace, and we are ever ready to provide the airline quality handling at all times, as being currently provided to our numerous client airlines’’.
In the same vein, the company recently signed a five-year contract with Qatar Airways in Abuja, as well as renewed the Lagos contract for another five years.
According to Prince Lasisi, ‘’with the new contracts, which run for five years and coupled with the additional frequencies of Qatar flights to Nigeria and Ghana, we are glad to go even further to provide the top-notch services for which we are known and have offered the airline for the past nine years’’.
The renewed contracts cover all service areas, as it will see NAHCO provide passenger, cargo, and ground handling services to Qatar Airways. It also includes the provision of crew transportation and other ancillary services to the respected airliner.