British Airways plane
Several eminent Nigerian personalities have taken time out to commend leading global airline, British Airways (BA), for its contributions to the development of the country’s tourism, and by extension, the Nigerian economy.
They spoke at a recent corporate executive dinner by BA held at Oriental Cuisine, Wuse II, Abuja, part of events celebrating the airline in Nigeria and a glimpse into its future.
Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Dr. Olusegun Runsewe, highlighted the strength of the British Airways brand. “In the next few years, Nigeria will be leading in tourism and cultural development. We cannot talk about Nigerian tourism without transportation and in this, British Airways has been faithful. In fact, British Airways was the first airline to bring Boeing 777’s into Nigeria, which immensely boosted inflow and comfort of travelers who have been part of Nigeria’s development,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, Chairman, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO Aviance), Alhaji Suleiman Yahyah, commended the airline for its long standing global relationship with Nigeria. He lauded the efforts of BA General Manager, Africa, Ian Petrie, in successfully overseeing the airline’s affairs in the continent. He also applauded the airline’s global team for providing comfort needed year round, especially during tense economic crisis.
“One key milestone is that the Nigerian aviation market trusts British Airways, its consistency, timeliness and predictability. Over the years, the airline has kept faith and stayed true, regardless of crises in Nigeria. BA never shut down in Nigeria, even when others did,” Yahyah said.
In his speech, airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Keith Williams, announced that BA was investing £60 million in improving its aircrafts and another £5 billion to acquire 42 new aircraft over the next 4 years. He said the airline had made a lot of progress with the brand globally, is now the most preferred airline in the UK and would work on even better services and relations in Nigeria.
“My role is working with people to improve industrial relations, creating the right conditions, plus providing the best customer service that you deserve and paid for. British Airways will continue to take you to new places, with new, improved products and services. We are committed to getting Nigerians to where they want to travel and that's very important,” Williams said.
Prominent personalities at the dinner were the Special Adviser to the President of Aviation, Captain Shehu Iyal; former Federal Minister of Tourism, Dr. Franklin Adejuwon; member, House of Representatives, Hon. Jumoke Okoya-Thomas; Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu; Head of Chancery, British High Commission, Paul Edwards, among other government officials, private stakeholders and British Airways Gold Card customers.