By John Ikani
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 during the event, the Chairman of Air Peace and Vice-President of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Allen Onyema, stated that the Spring Alliance is for the benefit of the passengers who fly with the six airlines.
According to him: “In the Aviation world, we have so many airline alliances like Star Alliance, One World and several others. Airlines go into those alliances for the benefit of both the passengers and themselves. So today, these six airlines have decided to come together to form the Spring Alliance 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.”
While noting that the Spring Alliance is not limited to Nigerian airlines alone, Onyema urged other African airlines to join the group and tap into the benefits offered by it.
A member of the newly-formed alliance and Managing Director, Aero Contractors, Captain Abdullahi Mahmood, described the Spring Alliance as a historic move, stressing that it 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.
On his part, Obiora Okonkwo, the CEO of United Nigeria Airline, said the alliance would revolutionise flight services for the Nigerian flying public, as passenger satisfaction is the major objective behind the formation of the alliance.
According 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.”