In a major step today, six Nigerian airlines have entered into an alliance to improve passenger service.
Signed in Lagos this week, the pact will see the country’s largest airlines minimize the impact of delays on travelers and offer better service across the board. Here’s a look at the new ‘Spring Alliance.’
According to AllAfrica, the Spring Alliance consists of six domestic Nigerian carriers, namely Air Peace, Arik Air, Azman Air, Aero Contractors, Max Air, and United Nigeria. The pact covers the country and region’s largest airlines, aiding passengers when required. So what exactly will the benefits be?
The biggest improvement will be protection from flight disruptions. With delays extremely common in Nigeria, the six airlines have agreed to transfer passengers from one airline to another in case of any difficulties. This means far fewer chances of lawsuits and stories of 24+ hour delays due to technical issues at the airline.
This is a common practice in other countries, especially among significant alliances like oneworld or Star Alliance and through codeshare partners if needed. However, formalizing the practice will make it much easier to rebook passengers when the need arises. In a statement, the Chairman of Air Peace and VP of Airline Operators of Nigeria, Allen Onyema, said,
“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. 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.”
Open to all
Unlike other groups, Spring Alliance wants to see more airlines join its ranks in Nigeria and from across Africa. Given that many airlines in the region suffer the same issues, and that the alliance won’t see traffic being hurt for anyone, it could be beneficial to several carriers. Indeed, as the number of carriers in the pact rises, passengers will face fewer disruptions while flying.
For now, the entry of the six major airlines alone is a step forward for Nigerian aviation and a chance for it to significantly improve its on-time performance in the future. This will help domestic airlines grow their market share and rival foreign airlines, which serve nearly 80% of international traffic as of today. Once reliability issues are solved, the path becomes a lot simpler for airlines to expand and carry more passengers through Africa and globally.