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Travel agencies adopt four airlines for continental free trade

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Kenya Airways

Travel agencies in the country have adopted four foreign airlines as trade partners in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) era.

The airlines are Kenya Airways, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, and Rwanda Air.

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The agencies, under the aegis of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), said the four major African indigenous airlines were selected as part of a strategy to make the best of the AfCFTA initiative for travel and tourism.

NANTA noted that an organised trade and tourism marketing among African nations, facilitated by well-thought-out aviation connectivity, African union passport, and synchronised visa regime, among nations under the AFCFTA deal, could change the economic narratives of the estimated 1.3 billion population of African nations.

NANTA President, Susan Akporiaye, on the tour of the airlines’ offices yesterday, said AfCFTA presents a refreshing assessment of the tourism and aviation collaborations with African airlines at the forefront to exploit and boost intra-African trade, create travel and tourism jobs and improve competitiveness.

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Unveiling the “Africa to Africa tourism promotion campaign”, Akporiaye said the advent of the African Union passport, and NANTA driving the tourism and culture content initiative in collaboration with the airlines would enhance the promotion and marketing of the African tourism economy, creating jobs in the process engender peace and integration.

General Manager of Ethiopian Airline in Nigeria, Shimeles Arage, noted that the national carrier had been at the forefront of African connectivity and integration.

“We shall collaborate with NANTA on this laudable campaign and would do the needful in truly letting Africans and Nigerians know more about Ethiopia tourism, which I must admit, we have not given the true focal attention.”

Country Manager, Rwanda Air, Muhamud Wayiga, applauded NANTA for being at the forefront of the AfCFTA tourism buy-in, requesting the association to furnish him with Nigerian tourism products and destinations to enable the airline market Nigeria not only in Rwanda but in other countries where the airline has established presence.

“But we at Rwanda Air will like to know more about Nigeria. We want other people, our passengers, to come to Nigeria and enjoy its hospitality, not just about promoting Rwanda alone. That is why I am happy about this NANTA initiative,” Wayiga said.

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