Tuesday, May 14, 2013

► BRAZIL: Arik Air hoping to start Lagos - São Paulo flights "before August."

Arik AirNigeria's largest carrier, Arik Air (W3), has formally launched negotiations with the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil - ANAC) regarding traffic rights and landing slots for São Paulo, it has emerged.

Arik Air's new A330 (EI-EWH)
Arik Air's new A330 (EI-EWH)
in Dublin (flame1958)
According to The Guardian, Arik's Deputy Managing Director, Captain Ado Sanusi, says the airline is working feverishly to ensure that flights begin before the Nigerian/Brazilian Bi-Commission conference scheduled for August 2013, with added "long haul aircraft" (likely Arik's two outstanding A330-200s one of which is (MSN 891| 'EI-EWH')) set to help boost the airline's international operations.

In Brasilia, the Arik team also held talks with officials from the Brazilian National Development Bank (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social - BNDES), where they discussed possible multilateral funding for a possible aircraft acquisition from Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embraer.

The move by Arik Air comes as a follow-up to a meeting held in February this year between President Goodluck Jonathan and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in which a restoration of air links between the countries was raised as a means of boosting trade, commerce and cultural ties. In addition, the launch will also come as an afront to Ethiopian Airlines (ET) who intend to begin Brazilian operations via Lomé, Togo from July.

Brazil's defunct national carrier, VARIG (RG), last served Lagos over 19 years ago.