FG denies US carrier flying rights into Abuja

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The United States carrier, Delta Airlines, has been denied additional flying rights into Nigeria through the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the Federal Government.

A source close to the Ministry of Aviation, who disclosed this to our correspondent on Wednesday, said Delta was stopped because it failed to change the type of aircraft it was using on the Lagos-Atlanta route after being asked by the government to do so.

According to the source, representatives of airline have met with the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Babatunde Omotoba, on the matter last Thursday in Abuja.

Omotoba was said to have refused the approval, insisting that unless Delta replaced the Boeing 767 aircraft it was flying on the Lagos route with a better and newer airplane, as well as improved on its in-flight entertainment service, the request would not be granted.

A Delta representative, who declined to be quoted, said that a similar aircraft was being used on their European route, and that they were making efforts to improve on their in-flight services.

The minister had at a press conference in February accused Delta and British Airways of using old and “scrappy aircraft” on the Nigerian routes compared to the ones being used on other routes.

He added that he would not tolerate a situation where foreign airlines offer poor services in Nigeria “where their businesses are doing well.”

Latest report from the Central Bank of Nigeria shows that foreign airlines repatriated over N33bn in four months.

While British Airways has denied the allegation, Delta is yet to come up with any statement.{linkr:related;keywords:nigeria ;limit:5;title:Related Articles}

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