After 16 years of plying domestic hinterland routes, Overland Airways, at the weekend, announced plans to make a foray outside Nigeria with the commencement of scheduled flight operations between Nigeria, Benin Republic, and Togo.
Chief Operating Officer of the airways, Mrs. Aanu Benson, at a press conference held, in Lagos, said the launch of the inaugural flight on the Lagos – Cotonou – Lome routes on August 12, 2-018 marks the take-off the airline’s drive to participate actively in the sub-regional socio-economic activities and integration.
“West Africa is our territory and this marks the beginning of domestic West Africa operations and our operations to Cotonou and Lome are to offer choices to customers as our contribution to regional integration in West Africa,” said Benson.
“We want air travellers in the region to team up and discover each other while enjoying the excellent services we offer. It is an expression of Nigeria’s aviation renaissance in West Africa,” she added. The Lagos-Cotonou-Lome flights will operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The flights will depart Lagos at 7pm and arrive Cotonou at 7:25pm, and depart Cotonou at 8pm to arrive Lome at 8:30pm. Also, flights will depart Lome at 9pm to arrive in Lagos at 9:45pm.
“One of the most important missing factors facing sustainable economic transformation in West Africa is smooth interconnectivity and there is need to reinforce unity and prosperity at the regional level,” said Benson.
“Over the coming years, Overland Airways will facilitate a new environment for business, leisure travellers, families, students, and more essentially bolster that bonding amongst the peoples and groupings in the region,” she added.
Overland Airways began operations in 2002, and to-date is the most consistent, longest-serving Nigerian airline providing excellent uninterrupted scheduled flight services to various routes in Nigeria including Lagos, Abuja, Asaba, Jalingo, Akure, Ibadan and Ilorin.
Meanwhile, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has condemned the invasion of the runway of Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto by loyalists of some politicians who broke through the airport fence and invaded the airport in a bid to receive their political masters.
Said FAAN spokeswoman, Ms. Henriata Yakubu, “This unfortunate incident, which occurred on Friday August 3, 2018, is a gross violation of the security and safety arrangements at the airport, as thousands of political loyalists violently accessed restricted areas at the airport, breaking down the airport fence in the process and resisting all security machineries in place. The airport environment is a highly regulated environment and should be seen as such.
“As the 2019 general elections is drawing closer, the Authority will like to advise the general public, especially politicians and their supporters to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations at the airports, as we will not compromise security and safety at our airports for any reason,” Yakubu added.