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Nigeria, Cape Verde sign pact

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Sirika with Prime Minister of Cabo Verde on connectivity. Cape Verde to open an embassy in Abuja this year and also to commence direct flight. Photo/twitter/hadisirika

The Federal Government and Cape Verde have reached Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) to operate flights that connect the two countries.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this pact after a meeting with Cape Verde representatives, on the sidelines of the just concluded International Civil Aviation Organisation/World Tourism Organisation’s (ICAO/UNWTO) ministerial conference on tourism and air transport in Africa, in Sal, Cape Verde.

“We have just concluded a meeting with Cape Verde authority and they have signified interest to start flight operations into Nigeria. Cape Verde is willing to exercise their right in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement, and hopefully, to seek a Nigeria airline that will reciprocate through flight operation into Cape Verde.

“They will start operations into Nigeria very soon and we hope that Nigeria airlines will take the opportunity too, as they have already said they are looking forward to a Nigerian airline to partner with,” he said.

Recall that Nigeria and India recently signed similar pact, opening the door for designated airlines to connect the two countries.

BASA, otherwise called Air Transport Agreement (ATA), is an understanding between two nations to allow international commercial air transport services within their territories. It dates back to the Chicago Convention of 1944.

BASAs cover the basic framework under which airlines are granted bilateral rights to fly two countries.

The frequency, designated airlines of the signatories, origin, intermediate points as well as traffic rights, type of aircraft and tax issues are normally covered by Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs).

Figures from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), confirm that there are at least 90 of such agreements as at December 2016.

Apart from the flight operations, Cape Verde is also planning to establish its embassy in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

On his twitter handle ‘@hadisirika’, the minister said: “Cape Verde to open an embassy in Abuja this year and also to commence direct flight.”

Another source, who is privy to the meeting, said Cape Verde has agreed to fulfill all necessary commitment and go through the process in line with international best practices.

He also hinted that “Cape Verde is ready to begin the operation with its national carrier, Cabo Verde Airlines and they are looking at this year.”

According to the source: “The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will embark on inspection trip to Cape Verde to look at their facilities and their airlines in form of an audit before a final approval is given for them to commence operations into Nigeria.”


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