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Overland joins Air Peace in West African aviation market, regional routes

Barely one week after Air Peace flagged off its continental and regional air services in Abuja, Overland Airways has commenced flights to Cotonou, Republic of Benin and Lome, Togo.

The recent explorations by Nigerian airlines are coming as part of not only exploring the potential of West Africa’s aviation market, but to internalize the opportunities provided by the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

Business Hilights recalls that Air Peace kicked off its regional services with inaugural flight to Monrovia, Liberia and the crew members of the first flight were ceremoniously treated on arrival in Liberia, thus signaling better days and business ahead.

During the inaugural flight to both countries on Sunday, the Founder and Managing Director of Overland Airways, Capt Edward Boyo, stated that the airline planned to provide economic integration with the flight services.

According to him, the growing access of Nigerian airlines across the continent beginning with West and Central Africa is a sign of rising private sector investment in the industry, stressing that the feat will further deepen regional trade for the over 400 million people in West Africa.

Boyo averred that “Overland Airways has come to provide economic integration between Nigeria, Republic of Benin and Togo. We have come to promote trade, which happens when people move from one point to the other. It is possible for prosperity and economic development to come to our lands.

“We are adding more value. Economic integration has no end; it only has a beginning. We are going to intensify the relationship between Nigeria, a very large economy in West Africa and the rest of the 400 million people in West Africa, because we are not doing enough trade. Our people must trade with one other. This is what the Economic Community of West African States is all about.”

He said ECOWAS had made it possible for people within the region to move from one place to another without visas, hence the need to provide the needed air transportation.

Responding, the Director-General of Togo Civil Aviation Authority, Dokisime Latta, stated that the arrival of Overland was a good thing just as SAATM was a noble idea.

While revealing that Overland is the 14th airline to commence flights to the country, he assured that government will be supported by the government and people of Togo.

Reacting, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Kayode Oguntuase, said “Overland is coming at a very good time because there is a gap in air transportation. The roads are so bad that people avoid going by road. With this development, we can make 25 minutes journey from Nigeria to Cotonou and vice-versa. We are encouraged that Overland is here and we assure the airline that this land will be a rewarding one”.