Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Sen. Kamina Johnson Smith greeted His Excellency Geoffery Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria along with other delegates who arrived on the flight carrying just under 150 persons.
Minister Johnson Smith shared 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. She said,” 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 continued to say that the pandemic has deepened our need to connect and this makes this coming home of family even more special.
The Foreign Affairs Minister 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.”
Minister 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. She also shared that with collaboration with the Ministry of Health, National Security and other critical stakeholders, all protocols are in place to safely welcome aircrew and passengers to the Resilient Corridor.