Emirates, one of the world’s foremost airlines, may soon restore its previous 21 frequencies in the country.
The airline had last year reduced its frequencies in Nigeria to seven due to operational reasons. From the two daily flights to Lagos and one daily flight to Abuja, the airline reduced the Lagos flight to one and cancelled that of Abuja.
However, barring all odds, the airline may soon restore the frequencies even as it opens more routes in Asian countries to serve Nigerian travellers.
Emirates Regional Manager, West Africa Commercial Operations, Afzal Parambil, confirmed that talks are ongoing with the Federal Government to restore the flights.
He said, “We stopped our second flight because of operational reasons. We are discussing with the new minister to restoring the routes. Very soon, you will hear from us on the matter.”
According to him, the airline has a lot of plans for Nigerians travelling to China with its destinations in Asia increased to 20.
He said many Nigerians are having business interests not only in the popular cities of China like Beijing and Guangzhou but were going to inner cities for businesses and leisure. He added that the airline is committed to promoting the country as an investment destination.
Parambil explained also that most of the destinations are seamlessly connected, saying, “It is as good as going directly”.
Another milestone being planned by the airline, he said, is the addition of 44 A380s and 150 777s to increase the airline’s fleet to 300 in two years.
With Emirates flying to 156 destinations in 84 countries, he said more routes would be added in the nearest future in line with the massive expansion drive of the airline.
On airlines’ trapped funds, Parambili commended the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying the apex bank has done well in reducing the backlogs which were proceeds from sales of tickets.
He backed the plan by the Federal Government to establish a national carrier.
( DAAILY TRUST)