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The Texas governor meets with United Nigeria Airlines regarding flights to Dallas


The route would be the third link between Nigeria and the United States and the first Texas route since 2016.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Photo: Frontpage | Shutterstock

Summary

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Inside Edition
  • United Nigeria Airlines is in talks with Texas officials to establish a direct flight route to enhance connectivity between the two countries.
  • The airline currently does not have aircraft capable of making the transatlantic journey, but a potential codeshare agreement with a US carrier like American Airlines could be an option.
  • United Nigeria Airlines is experiencing domestic expansion and growth, adding new routes and aircraft to its fleet to increase connectivity within the country.

A third direct link between the United States and Nigeria may be on the horizon following meetings between tourism officials from the West African country and Texas Governor Greg Abbott. A delegation from United Nigeria Airlines met with the Governor earlier this month to discuss flights to the state, which is home to the largest Nigerian population in the United States.

Back on the map

The airline is looking to Texas as part of its vision to expand and enhance connectivity locally and internationally. Nigerian aviation officials previously visited Houston in July to discuss direct flights and ways to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

The team from United Airlines Nigeria, led by Professor Obiora Okonkwo, had what they described as a "fruitful" meeting with Dallas Forth Worth International Airport (DFW) and separately met the Governor to discuss the flight options. The Nigerian airline does not currently have any aircraft capable of making the transatlantic hop. Still, a codeshare agreement could be made with a US carrier such as American Airlines, which has a large hub at DFW.

The route would be the third link between Nigeria and the United States. Currently, Delta Air Lines operates direct flights to Lagos Murtala Muhammed (LOS) from its primary hub at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) with an Airbus A330. At the same time, United Airlines connects Lagos with Washington Dulles (IAD) using its Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

American Airlines with the tower at Dallas Fort Worth Airport

Photo: Dallas/Forth Worth Airport

This would not be the first time Texas has had a direct route to West Africa. United Airlines previously operated a service to Lagos from Houston but ended it in 2016 due to difficulty repatriating funds. Simple Flying has reached out to the airline and Governor Abbott for further information.

Growing at a great pace

United Airlines Nigeria is also expanding rapidly domestically as it receives new aircraft. According to data from ch-aviation, the airline currently operates a fleet of four Embraer ERJ145 aircraft, which carry 50 passengers each. The airline is leasing an Airbus A320-200 (LZ-FSA) from Fly2Sky to increase domestic connectivity.

The carrier recently announced a new link to Sokoto from Lagos as it looks to expand in the north of the country. Kano, the second-largest city in Nigeria after Lagos, is also getting a new connection to the nation's capital of Abuja with the arrival of the new Airbus. Both routes are scheduled to start at the beginning of December. Chief Operating Officer (COO) of United Nigeria Airlines, Mazi Osita Okonkwo, outlined what is next for the carrier domestically:

“The expansion of flight services to Kano and Sokoto, with a further vision for Edo, Plateau, and Borno states is part of the strategic plans of the company to unite Nigerians and offer them more options for air travel.

“With the expansion of air transport services to the north, Nigerians would have more options to connect with more cities, their loved ones, and businesses in safety and in comfort.

“We believe that with enhanced air transport services, Nigerians will interact more among themselves and travel more to enjoy the beauty that nature has blessed this country with."

United Nigeria Airlines Embraer 145

Photo: Trevor Malkerrins | Flickr

In terms of fleet expansion, the airline expects ten new Embraer E-175 aircraft to be delivered in batches over the next two years.

Do you think this new link between Nigeria and Texas will materialize? Let us know in the comments.

Sources


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