Six Nigerian airlines on Wednesday announced a new pact – the ‘Spring Alliance’ – to mutually support their operations in order to provide better services to passengers.
The airlines – Air Peace, Azman Air, United Nigeria Airline, Arik Air, Aero Contractors and Max Air – said in a statement that the alliance would ensure interline collaboration to protect their operations and improve service delivery to passengers.
They said that the objective of the alliance is to curb flight delays among the six partners, give one another technical support and also ensure that passengers are airlifted by any of the members, no matter which airline’s ticket the passengers have.
Speaking on the pact, Chairman of Air Peace and Vice-President of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Allen Onyema, said that the Spring Alliance was for the benefit of the passengers who fly with the six airlines.
He said that globally, there are many alliances, such as the Star Alliance, One World and many others, which airlines key into for the benefit of both the passengers and the airlines.
“So, today, in Nigeria, some Nigerian airlines, notably, Air Peace, Azman Air, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Max Air & United Nigeria, have decided to come together to form what we call the Spring Alliance.
“The name of this alliance is Spring Alliance. We decided to come together to do this for the benefit of the flying public that use the opportunities provided by these airlines to fly.
“By this alliance, our passengers are protected whenever there is a problem with one airline. It is our response to the complaints of the flying public, so this alliance will enable us to satisfy them. With this alliance and what we are going to be doing henceforth, the flying public will reap the benefit.
“For example if Air Peace has a tech issue on any of its aircraft, the passengers of Air Peace need not to be delayed, if any member of this alliance is going to the same destination, all we need to do is move the passengers to other airlines, a member of the alliance, at no further cost to the passenger”.
Onyema stressed that the initiative to form the alliance was a noble one, describing the move as a revolutionary one in Nigeria’s aviation sector and urged other airlines to tap into the benefits offered by the alliance by joining.
He said that the Spring Alliance was not limited to Nigerian airlines alone, as other African airlines might wish to join.
He added that the alliance originated from Nigeria, but is open to the world.
“This will help aviation, it will help the sustainability of our operations, it will help the cause of the flying public to experience seamless commuting whenever they choose to. So, we are hereby putting our signatories to these papers today, launching this idea that will revolutionise Nigeria’s scheduled flight operations for the better,” Onyema said.
The Managing Director, Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood, stated that the formation of the Spring Alliance was a historic move, one that prioritises the satisfaction of the passenger.
“History has been made here today in Nigeria, and this is the first time something like this is happening in Nigeria’s aviation industry. You can see that the airline operators are fully committed to making sure that our passengers are satisfied. As we say, for every challenge, you see an opportunity and probably this is the time that we have seen an opportunity whereby the airlines can come together, work together and have a healthy competition; whereby at the end of the day, we make our passengers happy and safe.
“Safety is the number one priority and this is what we stand for and coming together, like my colleagues rightly said, you find out that all these delays are caused by problems that passengers do not know and we just carry them from one point to another on time and make sure that everything goes smoothly.
“We are asking passengers to give their utmost cooperation, we are doing our best, it is a challenging situation we find ourselves but yes, we are all in this together and we are hopefully coming out together,” Mahmood said.
He also thanked all the relevant aviation stakeholders, adding that “this is just the beginning, like my colleague rightly said, this alliance is not only for Nigerian airlines; we are looking at other airlines around the world keying into the Spring Alliance”.
The CEO of United Nigeria Airline, Dr Obiora Okonkwo, said the alliance would revolutionise flight services for the Nigerian flying public, as passenger satisfaction is the major objective behind the formation of the alliance.
According to Okonkwo, today, history has been made at this landmark event. The Nigerian scheduled operators coming together to sign this all-important document. This, no doubt, will revolutionise the service and provision for the typical traveller in Nigeria. It is all about the passenger.
“There’s no doubt that Nigerian airlines are going through some situations and part of the ways to react to this is to have the passengers in mind. It is simply thinking out-of-the-box.
“On this note, we are thanking the passengers and we continue to appeal to them to show some understanding and to continue to show us love, knowing that we are in this together, that the airlines will continue to do anything possible within their strength to ensure efficiency of our services and then thanking the government that has been showing some understanding,” he said.