The Israeli government yesterday approved the aviation agreement signed between Israel and Nigeria and announced the start of non-stop flights between the countries to begin next month for the first time.
The ministry of transportation and road safety disclosed this in a statement in Jerusalem.
It stated that Nigeria’s Air Peace will begin operating direct flights to Israel for the first time, starting on April 20.
The statement quoted the minister, Brig. Gen. Miri Regev as saying that the air link will contribute to strengthening of the business and cultural ties between the nations and between the governments.
“The signed agreement will for the first time allow the airlines of each of the countries to operate regular flights at Ben Gurion Airport to several destinations in Nigeria, such as Abuja and Lagos. In the first phase, the Nigerian company (airline) will operate two weekly flights between Israel and Nigeria,” she said.
Regev also said Israel had started opening new routes to connect the world and identified Nigeria as one of the leading countries in Africa that maintained close ties with Israel.
“Recently we have witnessed a wave of new routes being opened to destinations all over the world, and I am happy to announce the launch of direct flights to Nigeria as well. Nigeria is one of the leading countries in Africa, and it maintains close ties with Israel in a wide variety of fields, along with traffic of pilgrims who come to Israel to visit the holy places of Christianity. I welcome the opening of the new line and am sure that it will contribute to strengthening the business and cultural ties between the nations and between the governments,” she added.
Reacting to the development, the chief executive officer and chairman of the airline, Mr. Allen Onyema said Air Peace was prepared for the inaugural and subsequent flights to the Holy Land.
He said service would begin with two weekly flights which would be increased with time.
Onyema commended the Nigerian government and the State of Israel for breaking the old barriers to make direct flight between the two countries come to fruition.
Besides, he said the airline had completed plans to begin three weekly flights to Jeddah and Medina to make it easy for Nigerians who wish to travel for pilgrimage.