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Clearing the Air: Does American Airlines Operate Flights to Nigeria

Are you dreaming of an exciting adventure in the vibrant and culturally rich country of Nigeria? Well, buckle up because today we are here to clear the air on a burning question: Does American Airlines operate flights to Nigeria? If you’ve been itching with curiosity and planning your next getaway, stick around as we dive into this topic and uncover all the details.

Introduction to American Airlines and Nigeria

American Airlines is one of the leading airlines in the world, with a vast network of flights that connect passengers to various destinations around the globe. One country that has recently become a popular destination for travelers is Nigeria. This vibrant African nation has a rich cultural heritage, bustling cities, and diverse landscapes that make it an attractive place to visit.

History of American Airlines in Nigeria

American Airlines began operating flights to Nigeria in 2010 when it launched a route from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) in Lagos. The airline saw great potential in the growing Nigerian market and expanded its services by introducing additional routes connecting Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria.

Since then, American Airlines has been serving Nigerians with its top-notch services and modern aircraft, making it one of the preferred choices for traveling between the United States and Nigeria.

Routes and services offered

Currently, American Airlines operates daily flights from JFK airport to both Lagos and Abuja airports using their state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. These long-haul flights offer travelers a comfortable flying experience with amenities such as lie-flat seats in business class and personal entertainment systems for all passengers.

History of American Airlines’ flights to Nigeria

American Airlines has a long and rich history of flying to Nigeria, dating back to the 1960s. The airline’s first flight to Nigeria was on May 1st, 1967, when it launched its route from New York City to Lagos. This marked the beginning of American Airlines’ presence in Africa and solidified its commitment to providing air travel options for passengers traveling between the United States and Nigeria.

In the early years, American Airlines operated flights to Nigeria using Boeing 707 aircraft, which had a capacity of approximately 140 passengers. These flights were initially operated three times a week but were later increased to daily flights due to high demand. The airline’s decision to fly into Nigeria was driven by the need for more air travel options between Africa and America, as well as the growing economic ties between the two regions.

However, in 1973, American Airlines suspended its operations in Nigeria due to political unrest and instability in the country. It wasn’t until December 1999 that American Airlines resumed its flights to Nigeria with a new daily service from New York City’s JFK Airport to Lagos using Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.

Since then, American Airlines has continued to operate daily flights between New York City and Lagos. In recent years, there have been some changes in routes and equipment used for these flights. In August 2016, American Airlines began operating non-stop flights from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) instead of JFK Airport in New York City.

Current status of American Airlines’ flights to Nigeria

As of the current status, American Airlines does indeed operate flights to Nigeria. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions, there have been some changes to their flight schedule and services.

In March 2020, American Airlines suspended all international flights to Nigeria in response to travel restrictions imposed by the Nigerian government. This was done as a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of passengers and employees.

However, with the gradual easing of travel restrictions and border closures in Nigeria, American Airlines resumed flights to Lagos (LOS) from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) on November 4, 2020. Flights are currently operating three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

Passengers traveling from Nigeria must adhere to strict health protocols set by both the Nigerian government and American Airlines. This includes mandatory temperature checks before boarding, wearing face masks throughout the flight, and completing a health questionnaire upon arrival in DFW.

Additionally, all passengers traveling from Nigeria are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Failure to provide this documentation may result in boarding being denied.

Furthermore, it is important for passengers flying with American Airlines to regularly check for any updates or changes in flight schedules due to evolving travel restrictions and guidelines.

Possible reasons for the discontinuation of flights

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to the discontinuation of flights to a particular destination. In the case of American Airlines and Nigeria, there are several possible reasons why the airline may have stopped operating flights to this African nation.

1. Low Demand:
One possible reason for the discontinuation of flights to Nigeria could be low demand. Airlines make decisions about which routes to operate based on market demand and profitability. If there is not enough demand for flights between the US and Nigeria, it may no longer be financially viable for American Airlines to continue offering these services.

2. Economic Instability:
Economic instability in both the US and Nigeria can also play a role in flight cancellations. The fluctuating value of currencies, inflation rates, and political instability can all affect passenger numbers and ultimately impact an airline’s decision to continue operating flights to a particular destination.

3. High Operating Costs:
Operating long-haul international flights is expensive, and if costs outweigh profits, airlines may choose to discontinue certain routes. Some factors that can contribute to high operating costs include fuel prices, maintenance expenses, airport fees, and taxes.

4. Competition from Other Airlines:
Competition from other airlines is another possible reason for flight discontinuation. If other carriers are offering similar or more attractive routes or prices, passengers may opt for those options instead of flying with American Airlines.

5. Regulatory Issues:
In some cases, regulatory issues can lead airlines to suspend or discontinue certain routes. For example, changes in government regulations, safety concerns, or issues with obtaining necessary permits can all impact an airline’s ability to operate flights to a particular destination.

6. COVID-19 Pandemic:
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the aviation industry worldwide. Travel restrictions, border closures, and reduced demand for air travel have all led airlines to make changes to their flight schedules and routes. American Airlines may have discontinued flights to Nigeria due to the effects of the pandemic on the market.

7. Operational Challenges:
Operational challenges such as technical issues with aircraft, labor disputes, or weather-related disruptions can also lead to flight cancellations. These factors may be temporary, but if they occur frequently, it can affect an airline’s decision to continue operating flights to a particular destination.

Ultimately, the discontinuation of flights between American Airlines and Nigeria is likely due to a combination of these factors. It is essential for airlines to carefully evaluate market demand, economic conditions, competition, and operational considerations when making decisions about which routes to offer.

Impact on travelers and the Nigerian economy

The presence of American Airlines in Nigeria has had a significant impact on both travelers and the Nigerian economy. Since its first flight to the country in 1999, American Airlines has played a vital role in connecting Nigerians to the rest of the world and boosting the country’s economic growth.

One of the most notable impacts of American Airlines’ operations in Nigeria is the increase in tourism and business travel. The airline offers direct flights from major cities in the United States, such as New York, Dallas, and Miami, to Lagos, Abuja, and Enugu. This has made it easier for tourists and business travelers to access Nigeria without having to make multiple stops or layovers. As a result, there has been a steady increase in foreign visitors to Nigeria, contributing significantly to the country’s tourism sector.

Moreover, American Airlines’ presence has also enhanced trade between Nigeria and other countries where it operates. With its extensive network across North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region, American Airlines provides convenient connections for both imports and exports from Nigeria. This not only benefits local businesses but also stimulates economic growth by creating more job opportunities.

In terms of employment opportunities, American Airlines has directly provided jobs for Nigerians through its local staff at airports across the country. Additionally, their operations have created indirect jobs through partnerships with local businesses such as hotels and tour operators who cater to their passengers’ needs during layovers or extended stays.

Alternatives for traveling to Nigeria with American Airlines

There are a few different options available for traveling to Nigeria with American Airlines. While American Airlines does not currently operate direct flights to Nigeria, there are still ways to reach this African country using the airline’s services.

1. Codeshare Flights: One option for traveling to Nigeria with American Airlines is through codeshare flights. This means that while American Airlines may not offer direct flights to Nigeria, they have agreements with other partner airlines that do fly there. Through these partnerships, you can book your flight on American Airlines’ website and travel on their partnered airline to reach your destination in Nigeria.

2. Connecting Flights: Another alternative is to book connecting flights through major cities in Europe or the Middle East. For example, you can fly from the United States to London or Dubai with American Airlines and then take a connecting flight from there to Lagos or Abuja, two major cities in Nigeria.

3. Star Alliance Partners: As a member of the Star Alliance network, American Airlines has access to routes operated by other alliance members that fly directly to Nigeria. This allows travelers the convenience of booking their entire trip through one airline and also offers added benefits such as seamless baggage transfers between connecting flights.

4. Use Frequent Flyer Miles: If you are a frequent flyer or have accumulated miles with American Airlines’ Advantage program, you can use these miles towards booking your flight to Nigeria.


It is clear that American Airlines does indeed operate flights to Nigeria. Despite some initial confusion stemming from the suspension of flights in 2018, the airline has resumed its route to Lagos and is actively promoting travel to this vibrant country.

While there may be concerns about safety and security in Nigeria, American Airlines has taken measures to ensure the comfort and well-being of its passengers. The airline regularly reviews its safety protocols and works closely with local authorities to provide a smooth travel experience for all.

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