South African Airways (SAA) is planning to further develop the SAA Nigeria route as part of the turnaround project that aims to return the airline to profitability, SAA CEO Vuyani Jarani has said.
Jarana explained that Nigeria is a key market for the airline. “We have been flying to Lagos for about 20 years now and the market has been very supportive of the SAA brand,” he said.
Tlali Tlali, the spokesperson for SAA, told Inside Travel that SAA has committed to working closely with its customers in Nigeria to understand areas where the airline can improve its service in order to retain its position in the market.
He added: “We have also committed to working with emigration authorities both in Nigeria and South Africa to improve visa process arrangements. To this end, the CEO met with South Africa’s Consulate General in Lagos to address this issue.”
According to Tlali, the airline has, over the past 20 years, enabled the South Africa-Nigeria economic cooperation through providing a consistent quality air travel service between Lagos and Johannesburg.
“There is a lot of movement of people between the two countries and a reliable air travel services can only bolster the collaboration between the two countries,” he said.
Tlali added that there is no meaningful sea passenger travel infrastructure between Nigeria and South Africa and neither is the road transportation practical and viable. He said: “This leaves us with air transportation service as the only viable solution.”