Medview Airlines is set to begin flights from Lagos into London and Lisbon in Portugal. The Managing Director, Alhaji Muneer Bankole who made this known, said the carrier has secured approvals from aviation authorities in the United Kinfgdom (UK) and Portugal to begin the operations.
Bankole said the airline has engaged a consultant to complete the bilateral and technical preparations for the operations, describing the deal as part fulfillment of the Air Agreement Nigeria it has with the two European countries.
He said Medview was moved to actualise its designation into the routes, to offer Nigerians affordable fares from the exploitative ones being offered by foreign carriers.
He said foray into the routes would offer passengers travel options from the exorbitant fares offered by British carriers on the London route .
He spoke just as the airline took delivery of its own Boeing 767 aircraft, to be used for the international operations as well as Hajj operations.
The new delivery by the airline is historic as the only indigenous carrier to acquire a Boeing 767 aircraft with Nigerian pilots and cabin crew .
Bankole said: ” I discovered that getting out of London is so expensive because we only have two British Airlines coming here; Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. Among the countries we have got designation is Jeddah and Dubai.
“So, we are putting one on the forefront now and that would be in the next couple of months. We are sincerely working on that. The British authorities as well as the government of Nigeria have designated us to the Lagos-London route. We also got Portugal; Lagos-Lisbon route.
“So, we are looking at the European side, but we are launching this aircraft to Jeddah on the 16th August, 2015 for pilgrimage. We hope to close the first leg on September 16, continuing through October and the aircraft would be ready for international operations in November.”
He added: ”There are people doing the business right now. You know Heathrow Airport is the in-thing with about 73 million travellers annually while Gatwick takes about 35 million yearly. We are looking at the link of bringing Nigerians to Gatwick and we are looking at using the British rail, linking them on complementary to Victoria. Or, we are looking at Heathrow. We are there already.”
On preparation for Hajj, he said: ” I told you I’m ready, but the only thing is that I’m busy for hajj operations now.
“And we are also bringing B777 for the hajj operations and we would be the first in the annals of this country to use B777 and I am proud to say that the NCAA people have been trained by MedView, they are in Atlanta, United States, running for 777.”
Sources : The Nation Newspaper