Air Nigeria (VK) has announced it will commence flights from Lagos Murtala Muhammad International to London Gatwick with effect from May 16 2012, whilst Johannesburg commences on May 17. The flights will initially be operated with an A330-200 on a 3x weekly basis, with Lagos-Gatwick increasing to daily from June 2012.
This comes 3 years after Air Nigeria's predecessor, Virgin Nigeria, ceased Lagos-London and Lagos-Johannesburg.
" At the inauguration of the international flight operations on May 16 and 17, Air Nigeria will operate three flights weekly to both London and Johannesburg, and by June 16, 2012, increase the frequency on the Lagos-London Gatwick route to daily flights.
The long-haul services will be operated with the recently acquired modern Airbus A330-200 aircraft in two class configuration of 24 Business seats and 244 Economy class seats. The aircraft is equipped with state-of-the-art iPADS for in-flight entertainment in the business class cabin, making Air Nigeria one of the first African airline to offer such a product to passengers.
Tickets have gone on sale across all the sales channels such as the Internet online portal – www.myairnigeria.com, by telephone, as well as at multiple ticket offices across Nigeria, and at travel agents. "
Thereafter, it is understood that Rome and Paris are the next destinations to be added to the international network, thus giving direct competition to Alitalia and Air France.
"Air Nigeria’s other planned European routes, Rome and Paris, also have existing capacity. Lagos-Rome Fiumicino is currently operated by Alitalia, which offers three times weekly service using A330-200 equipment while Lagos-Paris Charles de Gaulle is currently operated daily by Air France using 777-300ER equipment."