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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

Low Patronage: Iberia Stops Flight Operations Into Nigeria

Spanish Airline, Iberia Plc, said it will from May 12, 2016, halt flight operations into and out of Nigeria due to low passenger traffic it has been recording in the past few months.

The airline in a letter dated April 19 with title: Re: suspension of operations, to its trade partners and signed by Kola Olayinka, its Regional commercial manager, West Africa, the company told the trade partners that the decision, though, was hard to take, it could no longer continue on the route due to low patronage.

“This is to notify you that our Spanish Airline, Iberia Plc will be suspending services into and out of Nigeria effective 12 May, 2016. This is a very tough decision that has been taken by our head office in view of the wide acceptance we have received from our passengers especially those heading towards Spain and Latin America over the years”, the letter reads in part.

The airline explained that its commitment to Nigeria since it started operations in 2014 has never been in doubt, but it had to take this decision ‘due to difficult and exceptional circumstances’.

“Iberia’s commitment to Nigeria since we started operations in 2014 has never been in doubt but over the last few months, we have witnessed dwindling passenger figures to Madrid, our main hub and our business has faced very difficult and exceptional circumstances, which has brought about this very difficult decision.

“I thank you for your support and assistance in promoting our airline in Nigeria over the last few years, you have truly been a partner and I hope you will understand the decision taken by Iberia in these very difficult times”, Olayinka said in the letter.

Although, Virgin Atlantic has not stopped flights into Nigeria as it has sacked all Nigerian crew out from the route, this is the second foreign airline in about one year that will be citing difficult times as reason for either restructuring or stopping operations.

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