Monday, November 5, 2012

■ NIGERIA: Arik Air celebrates 6th birthday, plans large network expansion.

Arik AirNigeria's largest carrier, Arik Air (W3), celebrated its 6th birthday at an event held at its corporate headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. 

Addressing aviation reporters, Arik Air's Managing Director, Mr Chris Ndulue is summarized as saying that:
Arik Air
The airline which started operation on October 30, 2006, with four daily flights between Lagos and Abuja, using three brand new Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft and carried only 29, 363 passengers by year end, representing less than one per cent of domestic  flight, has since grown to become the airline with the  largest fleet in Nigeria with 23 short, medium and long range aircraft and has the youngest fleet in Africa with an average age of less than 5 years.

Recently, the carrier celebrated flying its ten million passenger since it began operating in 2006. This year alone Arik has transported over 1.5 million passengers across its network of 20 domestic,10 regional and three long-haul destinations and now controls over 65% of the total Nigerian domestic market.

Regarding future plans, Ndulue said that the airline will expand its African and international destinations to include, amongst others, 5th Freedom flights:
  • Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire),
  • Conakry (Guinea), 
  • Kinshasa (DR Congo)
  • Malabo (Equatorial Guinea),
  • Libreville (Gabon)
Long-haul destinations will include:
  • Lagos - Houston ,USA
  • Abuja - Kano - Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
  • Accra (Ghana) - London UK, 
  • Freetown (Sierra Leone) - London UK. 
Lagos - Cotonou, Ouagadougou and Bamako has been suspended due to the unrest in Mali.

The airline also plans to  expand its interline and code-share agreements to develop services to points beyond Europe, Middle East & USA.