By Abdullateef Aliyu
Six Nigeria airlines including Air Peace, Azman Air, United Nigeria Airline, Arik Air, Aero Contractors and Max Air have signed a pact tagged the ‘Spring Alliance’, to mutually support one another’s operations and improve service delivery for their clients.
The carriers signed the alliance on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in Lagos.
Speaking, the Chairman of Air Peace and Vice-president of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Allen Onyema, stated that the Alliance would benefit passengers who fly with the six airlines.
Daily Trust reports that the alliance is structured after the popular global airline alliances.
Onyema explained that with the alliance, passengers of any of the airlines would be protected if one of the airlines had an issue.
“It is our response to the complaints of the flying public, so this alliance will enable us to satisfy them,” he said.
Onyema stressed that the initiative to form the alliance was a revolution in Nigeria’s aviation sector, while urging other airlines to tap into the benefits offered by the alliance by joining.
He said that the Spring Alliance was not limited to Nigerian airlines alone, as other African airlines could join, adding that the alliance originated from Nigeria, but open to the world.
He said: “In the Aviation world, we have so many alliances airlines. We have the Star Alliance; there is One World and several others. Airlines decide to key into those alliances for the benefit of both the passengers and the airlines themselves.
“So, today, the 8th day of March 2022, some airlines in Nigeria notably, Air Peace, Azman Air, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Max Air & United Nigeria have decided to come together to form what we call the Spring Alliance.
“We decided to come together to do this for the benefit of the flying public that use the opportunities provided by these airlines to fly.
“By this alliance, our passengers are protected whenever there is a problem with one airline. It is our response to the complaints of the flying public, so this alliance will enable us to satisfy them.
“But with this alliance and what we are going to be doing henceforth, the flying public will reap the benefit. For example, if Air Peace has a tech issue on any of its aircraft, the passengers of Air Peace need not be delayed. If any member of this alliance is going to the same destination, all we need to do is move the passengers over to that other airline, a member of the alliance, at no further cost to the passenger”.
“This will help aviation, it will help the sustainability of our operations, it will help the cause of the flying public to experience seamless commuting whenever they choose to.
“This is where we are today, so we are hereby putting our signatories to these papers today, launching this idea that will revolutionise Nigeria’s scheduled flight operations for the better.”
The Managing Director, Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood, noted that the formation of the Spring Alliance was a historic move, which prioritises the satisfaction of the passenger.
“History has been made here today in Nigeria, and this is the first time something like this is happening in Nigeria’s aviation industry. You can see that the airline operators are fully committed to making sure that our passengers are satisfied. Like we say, for every challenge, you see an opportunity and probably this is the time that we have seen an opportunity whereby the airlines can come together, work together and have a healthy competition whereby at the end of the day, we make our passengers happy and safe.
“Safety is the number one priority and this is what we stand for and coming together, like my colleagues rightly said, you find out that all these delays are caused by problems that passengers do not know and we just carry them from one point to another on time and make sure that everything goes smoothly. We are asking passengers to give their utmost cooperation, we are doing our best, it is a challenging situation we find ourselves but yes, we are all in this together and we are hopefully coming out together,” Mahmood said.
He also thanked all the relevant aviation stakeholders, adding that “this is just the beginning. Like my colleague rightly said, this alliance is not only for Nigerian airlines; we are looking at other airlines around the world keying into the Spring Alliance”.
The CEO of United Nigeria Airline, Obiora Okonkwo, said the alliance would revolutionise flight services for the Nigerian flying public, noting that passenger satisfaction was the major objective behind its formation.
Accordording to Okonkwo, “Today, history has been made at this landmark event. The Nigerian scheduled operators coming together to sign this all-important document. This, no doubt, will revolutionise
the service and provision for the typical traveller in Nigeria. It is all about the passenger.
“There’s no doubt that Nigerian airlines are going through some situations and part of the ways to react to this is to have the passengers in mind. It is simply thinking out-of-the-box. We are not reinventing the wheel, we are just adopting what we have seen that has worked in other places, and it will surely work in Nigeria so that the passengers going to the airport are more guaranteed that they will fly.
“On this note, we are thanking the passengers and we continue to appeal to them to show some understanding and to continue to show us love, knowing that we are in this together, that the airlines will continue to do anything possible within their strength to ensure efficiency of our services and then thanking the government that has been showing some understanding.
“In the coming days, there will be talks and discussions as airline operators will be engaging stakeholders in the industry, all for the best of our services and efficiency”.