Nigeria could easily become main source market for tourism

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

​Over 100 passengers were on board an inaugural flight from West Africa that landed at the V.C Bird International Airport on Monday morning. The historic event coincides with the 41st Anniversary of the Independence of Antigua and Barbuda.

The flight signals the start of what is expected to be a “great” partnership between Antigua Airways and the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

Among those on the flight were the children of Marvelous Mike; Mercy and Marvelous Akinola. Mike, the Chief Executive Officer of Antigua Airways did not make Monday’s flight but officials say he will be on the island this Thursday. were however among the VIP personnel who arrived

The CEO of Euro Atlantic Airways Eugenio Fernandez, Emmanuel Samson Founding President of the Nigeria Antigua & Barbuda Chamber of Commerce and MD of Antigua Airways Opeyemi Olorunfemi, were also on the flight.

Tourism Minister Charles Max Fernandez said the US and the UK have been the main source market in Antigua and Barbuda but Nigeria can easily become the number one, given the population.

“Again, this is the first charter but this is only the start and we will do whatever we can to ensure this continues. There are so many opportunities to be gained, not just in tourism but in culture, education, trade…which is so rich,” Fernandez said

He also suggested the addition of a news channel from Nigeria, so residents can better understand the culture.

“The vision is to connect with LIAT 2020 and that is so important for us. It would be a great opportunity to see the airlines working together,” Fernandez said.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin James says Antigua Airways will bring economic activity and further investment to the country.

“All this is critical as our tourism industry rebounds and we continue to see growth in our visitor arrivals again,” he said.

Foreign Affairs Minister E.P Chet Green also attended the welcome ceremony and so did President of the Nigerian Association in Antigua and Barbuda Adolf Iwuji and President of the Ghanaian Association in Antigua and Barbuda Lebrecht Hesse among others.

They both spoke on the importance of creating a greater bond with the people of Nigeria and by in large Africa due to both country’s history in the slave trade.

The new airline has been touted by the government as a major investment coup for Antigua and Barbuda, with the direct link to West Africa having the potential for significant economic benefit.

There’s been a lot of criticism surrounding the agreement and skepticism about whether the deal between the two countries will ever materialize.

There are also long-term plans for the route from Lagos to Antigua to be followed by a route from Antigua to Canada before the carrier heads back to Nigeria.

The firm is hoping to collaborate with LIAT, flying passengers north and south of Antigua who has come from West Africa on Antigua Airways.

Antigua Airways plans to operate a Boeing 767-300ER in a 16-business and 251- economy seating configuration


  1. Henry Sob

    Antigua and Barbudans should remained sceptical about this venture, as there are no long term benefits to gain for Antigua and Barbuda.

    Additionally, avation health and safety has never been a priority for flights from Nigeria, as there have been numerous flights exploded over Ikeja Lagos.

    Antiguans should carry out their own research before considering using this airline, equally the board of directors for LIAT should think very carefully before entering into business with this new company that ALP is endorsing. Virgin Nigeria is an example where Virgin Nigeria stopped trading using Virgin brands. The signs are there and it is necessary for the Minster for tourism and avation to explore.

    The potential risk of this venture could be far greater than the risk following Stanford’s scandal of money, drugs and human trafficking.


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