Six local airlines have agreed to shelve rivalry as they entered into a commercial alliance on mutual support in the area of operation.
Dubbed the Spring Alliance, the partnership enables signatories to offer assistance to another carrier for efficient services to customers.
The membership includes Air Peace, Azman Air, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, United Nigeria and Max Air.
The Dana –Ibom Air Alliance is the first time indigenous carriers have heeded aviation experts’ advice for competing airlines to codeshare, make the most of available customers, and cut operational wastage.
The significant milestone afforded Dana and Ibom a business arrangement whereby both airlines jointly offer flights to common destinations while operating services to destinations that are not within each airline’s regular routes.
The new alliance, the largest single pool in local aviation, aims to improve service delivery and reduce operation-induced flight delays.
Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, said the Spring Alliance is for the benefit of the passengers.
Onyema said: “In the aviation world, we have so many alliances that airlines key into. We have the Star Alliance; there is One World and several others. And airlines decide to key into those alliances for the benefit of both the passengers and the airlines themselves.
“So, today in Nigeria, six airlines have decided to come together to form what we call the Spring Alliance. We decided to come together to do this for the benefit of the flying public that uses 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.
“For example, if Air Peace has a technical 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 to move the passengers over to that other airline, a member of the alliance, at no further cost to the passenger,” he said.
Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood added that the formation of the Spring Alliance is a historic move; one that prioritises the satisfaction of the passenger.
Mahmood said it is also an opportunity for airlines to work together, and have a healthy competition that makes passengers happy and safe.
“Safety is the number one priority and this is what we stand for. All these flight delays are caused by problems that passengers do not know. But we are urging passengers to give their utmost cooperation as we are doing our best. It is a challenging situation that we find ourselves in but yes, we are all in this together, and we are hopefully coming out together,” Mahmood said.
The Chief Executive Officer of United Nigeria Airline, Dr Obiora Okonkwo, said the alliance would revolutionise flight services for the Nigerian flying public, as passenger satisfaction is the major objective.
Okonkwo said: “There’s no doubt that Nigerian airlines are going through some situations and part of the way 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.”