West Africa is poorly connected when it comes to travelling by air, an investigation by Daily Trust has revealed.
Sometimes it takes up to 12 hours to reach a destination that should last for an hour because travellers would be taken to many countries in the name of connecting flights.
Experts in the aviation sector said North and South Africa had left West Africa behind in terms of efficient air transportation and called for a new approach in order to tap from the huge economic potentials available.
They also advised Nigeria to take the lead, saying it could be an alternative to oil revenue if properly harnessed alongside tourism and other economic activities.
Daily Trust recalls that in October 2018, a Nigerian airline, Overland Airways, commenced a direct flight from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to Niamey, Niger Republic amidst excitement from Nigerian and Nigerien business communities, who anticipated a partial blockade of the wide air connectivity gap in the West African sub-region.
From Lagos to Niamey, the direct flight time was about 1 hour, 53 minutes. For many air travellers on that route, it was a big relief and reprieve from the hassle of connecting flights, which they were used to.
However, it was not long before the flight operation was stopped and no reason was offered by Overland at that time.