NIGERIA (eTN) – British Airways’ (BA) Country Manager for Nigeria, Kola Olayinka, has been charged to be a good ambassador of the country, as the who’s who in the country’s aviation and tourism industry gathered to honor him recently in Lagos.
British Airways recently appointed Kola Olayinka as the airline’s first indigenous Country Manager in it’s over 70 years of operation in Nigeria.
According to the airline, the appointment followed an extensive search spanning several months to find the best person for the job.
Speaking during the dinner, Dr. Franklin Adejuwon, who organized the dinner, said British Airways has set a good precedent with the appointment of Kola Olayinka for other foreign airlines to follow.
While commending the airline, Dr. Adejuwon said the new Country Manager has the capacity to take British Airways to the next level in the country.
British Airways General Manager for Africa, Ian Petrie said the appointment was made not because Olayinka is a Nigerian, but because of the belief in his capacity to manage the airline’s business in Nigeria.
“We are proud to appoint a local as our Country Manager in Nigeria. With more than 20 years experience in the aviation industry, Olayinka comes with extensive experience to manage our business in Nigeria. He is widely respected in the industry and a great personality to work with. He is also a goal getter, and we believe he will lead the team here to greater heights, having acquired a wealth of experience and expertise in the industry over two decades.”
Reacting to the commendation of those present, the new British Airways Country Manager, Kola Olayinka said while the task is enormous, that he wants to be a champion for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“British Airways has a tradition in Nigeria, it has history, and I want it to be said that we are the airline of tradition.”
A graduate of the University of Lagos and the WITS Business School in Johannesburg, South Africa, Olayinka began his career at Gateway Television in Abeokuta as a news reporter, and he also had a brief stint with John Holt PLC where he rose to the position of Regional Sales Manager.
He has worked in different capacities within BA including, the UK head office of the airline, as well as in Kenya, where he rose to the position of Area Customer Service Manager, East Africa, with responsibilities for five African countries namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Seychelles, and Mauritius.
Olayinka returned to Nigeria in 2002 to manage the northern business of British Airways as Regional Manager, Northern Nigeria. It was under his watch that the northern business of BA grew to be a daily service that is now enjoyed by the airline’s customers.
In 2006, Kola left BA for Qatar Airways in Nigeria as its pioneer Sales Manager, from where he has now rejoined BA as its Country Manager Nigeria responsible for the airline’s commercial operations in this part of the African continent.
PHOTO (L to R): British Airways General Manager for Africa Ian Petrie; Mr. Kola Olayinka, New BA Country Manager for Nigeria; and Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC)