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FG insists on BASA reciprocity with UAE for Nigerian airlines



The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus keyamo has reiterated that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) carriers would return to the Nigerian routes very soon, but said the government is insisting on reciprocity based on the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) arrangements with the two countries.

Keyamo stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the second day of the 7th Aviation Summit hosted by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Keyamo said that the UAE Government has agreed to give to Nigerian carriers any routes they requested for, but said must be based on reciprocity.

Besides, Keyamo assured that it would ensure the trapped funds of foreign airlines are released to them very soon by the Nigerian Government.

Keyamo stated that the government was doing everything possible to ensure the funds are repatriated to the affected airlines.

As at May 2023,  the total trapped funds of foreign airlines in the country was over $500 million.

No fewer than two foreign airlines had ceased operations into Nigeria because of the debts, while a few others had to reduce their frequencies into the country.

For instance, Ethiopian Airlines in October had suspended operations into Nigeria following its trapped funds of $85 million.

The minister expressed that President Bola Tinubu was concerned about the trapped funds, stressing that this was one of the reasons he (Tinubu) visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE), recently.