Government & Politics

Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to Resume Cargo Flights: Keyamo Announces New Aviation Milestone

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Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to Resume Cargo Flights: Keyamo Announces New Aviation Milestone

In a significant development for the aviation industry, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has announced plans to resume cargo flights between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. This announcement came during the 3rd ministerial updates held on Monday in Abuja, where Keyamo highlighted the collaborative efforts with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that made this possible.

Strengthening Trade Ties

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The decision to restart cargo flights was finalized during Keyamo’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, where he met with his Saudi counterpart. “I have good news for you from Saudi Arabia. I met my counterpart in Saudi Arabia, and we have agreed to resume cargo flights,” Keyamo revealed. This move is expected to significantly boost trade and logistical connections between the two nations, which had been hampered by the suspension of these flights for an extended period.

Clearing the Path for International Airlines

In addition to the cargo flight resumption, Keyamo addressed the long-standing issue of foreign airlines’ funds trapped in Nigeria. He reported that the Federal Government has successfully cleared the backlog of trapped funds for foreign airlines, which had been a major concern for the industry. This resolution has paved the way for the return of Emirates Airlines to Nigerian airspace.

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Emirates Airlines had previously suspended its operations in Nigeria but announced on May 16, 2024, that it plans to recommence flights to Nigerian airports starting October 1, 2024. This decision is seen as a positive step towards stabilizing the financial aspects of the aviation sector in Nigeria.

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Financial Stability and Future Prospects

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) played a crucial role in resolving the financial issues plaguing the aviation sector. In January, the CBN announced that the Federal Government had “concluded the payment of all verified claims” by foreign airlines, disbursing an additional $64.44 million to the concerned airlines. This brought the total verified amount paid to the air transport sector to $136.73 million, ensuring that all verified airline claims were settled.

The resumption of cargo flights between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, coupled with the clearance of trapped funds for foreign airlines, marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s aviation industry. It not only enhances the trade relations between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia but also instills confidence in foreign airlines operating in Nigeria.

Looking Ahead

As Nigeria continues to make strides in improving its aviation sector, the government’s efforts to resolve financial challenges and strengthen international connections are likely to yield long-term benefits. The return of Emirates Airlines and the resumption of cargo flights are indicative of a more stable and promising future for the industry.

With these developments, the aviation sector in Nigeria is poised for growth, ensuring better connectivity, enhanced trade opportunities, and a more robust economic environment.

For more updates on this story and other developments in the aviation sector, stay tuned to our news platform.

Source: ChannelsTV

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