Tuesday, July 10, 2012

► NIGERIA: British Airways considers Port Harcourt - Heathrow route.

British Airways
British Airways (BA) has reportedly shown interest in starting up a possible London Heathrow - Port Harcourt, Nigeria daily flight to add to its current Nigerian network of Lagos and Abuja. Previously Kano was also served.

The initiative was revealed by BA's CEO Keith Williams during a briefing with the Nigerian media. where by he touched upon the importance of the Nigerian market to British Airways though it appears nothing was mentioned about the airline's often strained relationship with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) which has often held witch hunts amongst foreign carriers, accusing them of overcharging Nigerian passengers on the lucrative Nigeria - Europe routes.
Port Harcourt apron
Port Harcourt Airport's apron (KVW)
"“Nigeria clearly is a huge market for BA, having served there for 75 years. BA has a commitment to Lagos and Abuja to serve them better and would also include more routes so as to satisfy more customers,” he said.
The CEO also described Lagos and Abuja as two very important routes for British Airways, adding that Port Harcourt is a destination BA would be considering as a result of the city’s current big business area status."

At present, Port Harcourt sees international service from only Air France and Lufthansa though with its growing economic prominence, and in particular its petroleum industry, this could change quite soon.