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U.S.-Nigeria Air Transport Agreement Signed After 24-Year Wait  

The new agreement is expected to increase air service between the two nations.

A United Airlines Boeing 767 departs Washington Dulles International Airport. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Noah Escobar)

The long-awaited U.S.-Nigeria Air Transport Agreement has finally come into force on May 13, 2024, marking a milestone in the bilateral relationship between the two nations.

After being provisionally applied since 2000, the agreement now solidifies a modern civil aviation partnership, aligning with U.S. Open Skies international aviation policy and emphasizing stringent safety and security standards.

According to the press release published on May 16, 2024 by the U.S. Department of State, the agreement includes provisions for unrestricted capacity and frequency of services, open route rights, a liberal charter regime, and open code-sharing opportunities.

“This agreement with Nigeria is a step forward in liberalizing the international civil aviation sector in Africa and further expands our strong economic and commercial partnership, promotes people-to-people ties, and creates new opportunities for airlines, travel companies, and customers. With this agreement, air carriers can provide more affordable, convenient, and efficient air services to travelers and shippers, which in turn promotes tourism and commerce,” reads the statement.

“This development is a significant step toward liberalizing the international civil aviation sector in Africa and further strengthening economic and commercial ties between the United States and Nigeria,” the statement said. “It also promotes tourism and commerce by enabling air carriers to provide more affordable, convenient, and efficient air services to travelers and shippers.”

Air Peace Planning to Serve New York

This comes as Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest airline, received approval to launch flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The approval, granted on February 9 by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), follows a request made on January 12.

Air Peace will now collaborate with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to secure the necessary documentation for the launch. Compliance with Nigeria’s national regulations, including section 18.5.11 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (CARs) 2023, is also essential.

U.S. carriers have consistently served Nigeria over the years providing a link between the United States and Lagos. Delta Air Lines offers flights between the United States and Nigeria by offering daily Airbus A330 flights from Atlanta to Lagos.

The airline announced last month on April 26 that it will offer a total of 14 weekly flights to Nigeria from Dec. 1 through the first half of January and 10 weekly flights for the remainder of winter 2024, with the restart of service to Nigeria from New York-JFK Airport.

United is another U.S. carrier with a history in Nigeria. In the past, the carrier operated flights connecting Washington Dulles to Lagos using a Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The airline resumed services to Lagos with nonstop flights from Washington Dulles International Airport to Murtala Muhammed International Airport starting in November 2021. The U.S. carrier currently operates three weekly 787 flights from Washington Dulles International Airport to Lagos Nigeria.

Victor Shalton


  • Victor Shalton

    Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Victor’s love for aviation goes way back to when he was 11-years-old. Living close to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, he developed a love for planes and he even recalls aspiring to be a future airline executive for Kenya Airways. He also has a passion in the arts and loves writing and had his own aviation blog prior to joining AirlineGeeks. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at DeKUT and aspiring to make a career in a more aviation-related course.

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