Lagos- Nigerian air carrier, Arik Air, might soon resume flights to Brazil.
The airline stated it had applied for traffic rights and slot allocation from the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (Agency National De Aviacao Civil) and the Department of Air Transport.
The current move by Arik Air, according to Deputy Managing Director Captain Ado Sanusi, was a follow up to the meeting in February this year between Nigeria’s President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, and his Brazilian counterpart, President Dilma Rousseff, for the restoration of air link between the two countries to boost trade, commerce and cultural ties.
Nigeria is not member of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), but of late the West African nation has been aggressively opening up business links with the same emerging global countries where South Africa is also into, making the two countries intensify their economic dominance for the continent.
Sanusi said the restoration of direct air link between the two countries as regional leaders in Africa and South America would boost economic relationship, which would be accelerated with direct flights into major cities including Lagos and São Paulo.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to Brazil, Vincent Okoedion, said the commencement of direct flights into Brazil would open up a window of investment opportunities for Nigeria and Brazil in several areas including agriculture, aviation, power, education and culture.
“Brazil is the hub of the economies of South America, just as Nigeria is the hub of the economies in West and Central Africa.
“Both countries have always had that desire to see the two economies of West Africa and South America linked by direct flights. Today, Brazil is the sixth largest economy in the world and Nigeria is the fastest growing economy in Africa and the two countries are able to draw all the economies in their respective regions.
"So once you have a direct flight, this flight is not only connecting the two countries, but the two regions, that is in Nigeria, the whole of West Africa and in Brazil, the whole of South America," said Okoedion.
- CAJ News