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Antigua starts Nigeria flights

Regional 31 Oct, 2022 Follow News

St John’s, Antigua is an attraction for Nigerians

Grenada’s St George’s will welcome more Africans

Antigua and Grenada have solidly forged links with West Africa this week.

The historic first direct flight between Antigua and West Africa was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday and a Grenada passport now allows second-citizen mobility for Nigerians.

The inaugural flight of Antigua Airways – a partnership between the government and Nigerian-based printing firm, Marvelous Mike Press Limited – was scheduled to touch down at the VC Bird International Airport on November 1, Antigua and Barbuda’s Independence.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne confirmed that the flight was due to depart Lagos on October 31, before returning to Nigeria on November 6.

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.

The carrier is also set to play a role in boosting regional connectivity, through a yet-to-be-finalised partnership with LIAT 2020.

While Marvelous Mike is financing the airline’s operations, Antigua and Barbuda is expected to receive 20 percent of the profits.

Opposition politicians expressed scepticism about the new airline, raising questions over the status of the Abuja-based company behind it.

The airline is slated to offer three weekly connections from Saint John’s to Lagos, Accra in Ghana and Toronto, Canada. The company has a single Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which has 16 business class and 251 economy class seats.

Sheila Harris, a licensed local agent and consultant on Grenada citizenship by investment, said that the Grenada passport allows second-citizen mobility for Nigerians.

Harris who made the announcement at a dinner reception organised by Hengsheng Group, developers of the Grenada National Resort in Lagos, said the benefits of holding a second citizen Grenada passport are far and wide. The Grenada passport provides holders with the opportunity to travel to around 144 countries visa-free.

The passport also allows applicants to apply for a visa to the US to operate a business, which she stated has become attractive for some clients. “Grenada is a beautiful island and we hope to continue on this trajectory that we have seen that makes people choose a Grenada passport.”

Harris said that the Hengsheng Group chose Nigeria because it is the most populous country in Africa, adding that the strict diligence in the application process for the citizen by investments will not allow stolen funds into the island.

She said: “Grenada has one of the strictest due diligence programmes within the Caribbean region and for that reason, some people have avoided Grenada and this makes it not a haven for stolen funds.”

According to Idowu Olumide, regional director for Africa and organiser of the event, Grenada citizenship by investment will provide the opportunity for Nigerians to tap into the tourism opportunities in Grenada, thus enabling them to diversify their investment portfolios.

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