On Monday, Jamaica and Nigeria completed the historic first direct flight from Nigeria’s largest city Lagos to Montego Bay as the two nations attempt to pave way for a regular direct airline route between the two destinations.
Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith was on hand to greet Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, along with other delegates who arrived on the charter flight carrying just under 150 persons.
The minister said that she was “truly delighted that after 400 years of shared history, Jamaica and Nigeria could celebrate this historic direct charter flight from Lagos to Montego Bay.
”The context of this flight is significant as both countries are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations this year.”
“The fact that we have been able to make the flight happen against the backdrop of the major global challenges that defined 2020, make it that much more significant,” she added.
Johnson Smith said that the pandemic has deepened the need to connect “and this makes this coming home of family even more special.
The foreign affairs minister also expressed hope that the Air Peace charter flight will “represent the start of a new era of robust cooperation between Jamaica and Nigeria and ultimately the rest of Africa and the wider Caribbean.”
At the same time, she noted that “the flights hold considerable promise for increased people to people contact through tourism and increased trade and investment opportunities.”
Johnson Smith praised the ministers of tourism and transport and mining for their support of the flight arrangements and expressed confidence in the programme in place.