Nigeria has long had a fraught relationship with British Airways. Back in 1997, a ban on the airline’s flights lasted 14 months. The ban was in response to Britain stopping Nigerian flights as a result of their poor safety record. More recently in 2011, in another retaliatory move, the airline had its flights slashed by the Nigerian government after Arik Air, Nigeria’s largest airline, was denied landing slots in the United Kingdom.

Squabbles with government aside, British Airways has also faced criticism from Nigerians who have accused the airline of maltreatment. But despite the love-hate relationship, British Airways’ Lagos to London route remains one of its most lucrative. That’s likely to continue given the struggles of Arik Air, one of the few airlines which previously operated direct flights on the route. Amid Nigeria’s economic recession, the airline was taken over by the Nigerian government in February to “avoid job losses, protect investors and stakeholder funds” and save the country’s “already challenged” aviation sector.

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