Six domestic airlines in Nigeria have formed an alliance promising to minimise the effects of disruption faced by passengers.

The group, dubbed the Spring Alliance, aims to offer travellers increased flexibility and improved service throughout their journeys. The founding airlines signed the agreement in the country’s largest city, Lagos, earlier this week.

The alliance comprises six major Nigeria-based carriers; Aero Contractors, Air Peace, Arik Air, Azman Air, Max Air, and United Nigeria.

Alliance a response to common flight disruption

The main goal is to offer customers protection from the extremely common flight delays that travellers in Africa’s most populous country face on a regular basis. This will be facilitated by a pact agreeing to transfer passengers between carriers in the event of a disruption.

Azman plane at the domestic terminal of Lagos airport
Azman Air, established in 2010, is one of Spring Alliance’s founding members | © Hansueli Krapf

The agreements come as a result of the ever-growing legal troubles the country’s airlines face as a result of the common delays. Allen Onyema, CEO of Air Peace, added:

“It is our response to the complaints of the flying public… 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. This is where we are today – 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.”

The move by the airlines to formalise their agreement will likely streamline the process for passengers to make changes when necessary. Alliances such as this are common across the world, with notable examples including the world’s largest, Star Alliance, and rivals Oneworld and SkyTeam.

Open invite to airlines

Spring Alliance has hopes that more airlines will join in time, both from within Nigeria and beyond. Given the widespread issues with punctuality that face airlines in the region, onlookers will be watching carefully to see the reception offered to the new group.

In the meantime, the six airlines are likely hoping that their new alliance will improve the reputation of domestic carriers both locally and internationally. With foreign carriers currently dominating international air traffic in the country, improved reliability will no doubt allow domestic carriers to begin clawing some back.

What do you think of Nigeria’s airline alliance? Let us know in the comments below.

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