Six Nigerian Airlines Form ‘Spring Alliance’ To Tackle Flight Delays, Cancellation
In response to complaints by passengers about flight delays and cancellations, six Nigerian airlines have teamed up to form an alliance named ‘Spring Alliance’, which would help in easing operations and tackling other challenges facing the operators.
The airlines involved in this alliance, Air Peace, Azman Air, United Nigeria Airline, Arik Air, Aero Contractors and Max Air, signed the agreement on Tuesday, March 8, in Lagos.
The Chairman of Air Peace and Vice-president of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Allen Onyema, said the alliance is for the benefit of the passengers who fly with the six airlines.
‘In the Aviation world, we have so many airline alliances like Star Alliance, One World and several others. Airlines go into those alliances for the benefit of both the passengers and themselves. So today, these six airlines have decided to come together to form the Spring Alliance for the benefit of the flying public that use the opportunities provided by these airlines to fly.
‘By this alliance, our passengers are protected whenever there is a problem with one airline. It is our response to the complaints of the flying public, so this alliance will enable us to satisfy them. But with this alliance and what we are going to be doing henceforth, the flying public will reap the benefit. For example, if Air Peace has a tech issue on any of its aircraft, the passengers of Air Peace need not be delayed, if any member of this alliance is going to the same destination, all we need to do is move the passengers over to that other airline, a member of the alliance, at no further cost to the passenger.’
Onyema said that the Spring Alliance is not limited to Nigerian airlines alone, as other African airlines may wish to join, adding that the alliance originated from Nigeria, but is open to the world.
The Managing Director, Aero Contractors, Capt Abdullahi Mahmood, noted that the formation of the Spring Alliance is a historic move, one that prioritises the satisfaction of the passenger.
‘History has been made here today in Nigeria, and this is the first time something like this is happening in Nigeria’s aviation industry. You can see that the airline operators are fully committed to making sure that our passengers are satisfied. Safety is the number one priority and this is what we stand for and coming together, like my colleagues rightly said, you find out that all these delays are caused by problems that passengers do not know and we just carry them from one point to another on time and make sure that everything goes smoothly. We are asking passengers to give their utmost cooperation, we are doing our best, it is a challenging situation we find ourselves in but yes, we are all in this together and we are hopefully coming out together,’ Mahmood said.
The Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Obiora Okonkwo, said the alliance would revolutionise flight services for the flying public, as passenger satisfaction is the major objective behind the formation of the alliance.
According to Okonkwo, “There’s no doubt that Nigerian airlines are going through some situations and part of the ways to react to this is to have the passengers in mind. It is simply thinking out-of-the-box. We are not reinventing the wheel, we are just adopting what we have seen that has worked in other places, and it will surely work in Nigeria so that the passengers going to the airport are more guaranteed that they will fly.
‘On this note, we are thanking the passengers and we continue to appeal to them to show some understanding and to continue to show us love, knowing that we are in this together, that the airlines will continue to do anything possible within their strength to ensure the efficiency of our services and then thanking the government that has been showing some understanding. In the coming days, there will be talks and discussions as airline operators will be engaging stakeholders in the industry, all for the best of our services and efficiency.’