“When Delta Airlines began flight services between Altanta and Lagos in December 2007 after a decade stop by the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL), it was as if the lucrative route should be reserved for one airline as Delta was basking in the euphoria of the breakthrough.
For years when NAL operated Lagos-New York route, no US airline reciprocated the frequencies until the airline became liquidated. And connecting US became costlier than expected because of the gap created by the absence of national carrier as travellers from Nigeria had to go through Europe to connect US cities.
The coming of Delta from Georgia in 2007, however, broke the perceived jinx as travellers on that route heaved a sigh of relief. It, however, looked monopolised as only Delta operated the route for two years before Arik Air, which Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had designated on the route alongside Air Nigeria and Bellview, joined.
Arik soon began operations into New-York, gradually breaking the monopoly with competitive fares. “The direct operations will save travel time and reduce costs. Customers will no longer need to incur the cost of transit visa fees and other ticket taxes associated with flying via Europe. They will also be able to save a considerable amount of time on this non-stop service, equivalent to almost two full business days over the course of a return trip via Europe,” an analyst said.
The duopoly soon got broken as United Airlines got the approval to start operations from Washington-Dulles into Lagos last year. “I think this is good for travellers, we are getting to a point where travellers will have several choices of airlines and fares, the travellers are at the receiving end. . . ”
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