Jamaicans, and by extension the Caribbean diaspora, will soon be given the unique opportunity to reconnect with Africa after a Nigerian airline announced that they will begin direct flights between the two countries.
Jamaica is well known for its close roots to parts of African culture and so many there will be happy to learn more about the direct flight. It is hoped that both countries can begin directly trading and sharing various aspects of their culture with each other.
The new initiative was created through the work of Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Janet Olisa, and her Jamaican counterpart in Abuja, Esmond Reid. Olisa is on her way out as an ambassador.
Olisa told reporters that:
“I must give credit to the Jamaican High Commissioner in Abuja. He has been able to convince the Nigerian airline to make that happen. I would like to see more Jamaicans visit Nigeria. Come and see where the ancestors came from. We (Nigerians) are coming so they should come. I think we need more tourists from Jamaica to Nigeria and I am inviting Jamaicans to come.”
She added that the initiative was still in the early stages of development and that the logistics were still being worked out.
“When we look at the logistics and look at how expensive it is to even fly down, what’s the bottom line for them (businesses). I understand and I appreciate it. I wasn’t able to get the business community to buy into business in Nigeria. I know there are informal trading going on, but not so recorded.”
The Direct Flight
The flight would take close to twelve hours when it is officially launched. The first trial of the flights will happen in December. The selected Nigerian airline will make two direct roundtrip commercial flights in December and January from Lagos, Nigeria to the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Good Relations after Slavery
Slavery was abolished on the island in 1834, and since then they have maintained a close relationship with the continent. There are several Nigerians in Jamaica who find viable work as scientists and engineers. Other African nationals also enjoy life on the tropical island, hailing from all over Africa. This new initiative will surely strengthen ties between these two nations.
It may be a sign of good things to come as late last year, another Caribbean island, Guyana, pledged to have direct flights from their country to Ghana. Many Caribbean people are interested in reconnecting with their roots and flights like these can prove beneficial to both the airlines and the people.
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