North American Airlines and Virgin Nigeria Airways have entered into an agreement to cooperate on several fronts. The first phase will be an interline agreement to provide better through service to passengers traveling between the United States and Africa.
This will provide Virgin Nigeria’s African customers easy access to North American’s non-stop flights from Lagos to New York and North American will now start selling several Virgin Nigeria destinations, including Abuja, the Nigerian political capital, and Port Harcourt, the center of Nigeria’s robust oil industry.
North American will also support Virgin Nigeria’s pending application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to serve the Lagos to New York market and Virgin Nigeria will amend its application to show that such service would be flown under a wet-lease agreement with North American. Once Virgin Nigeria receives DOT authority, the airlines would codeshare on each other’s flights.
“Virgin Nigeria has quickly built a reputation for excellent customer service, safety and schedule reliability, and we are proud to partner with such a quality company,” said Rob Binns, North American’s chief marketing officer. “Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and Lagos makes for an excellent geographical hub for the continent.”
“The coming of North American Airlines has been a major relief to Nigerians who have yearned for a shorter and less stressful air journey between Nigeria and the U.S.,” said Conrad Clifford, chief executive officer of Virgin Nigeria. “While Virgin Nigeria Airways waits for the approval of the DOT to fly its colors to the U.S., this partnership between both airlines provides an avenue for us to demonstrate our commitment to achieving our goal of safe, comfortable and seamless air travel for passengers of both countries.”