Arik Air announced the launch of services to its second long haul international destination, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Arik Air, Nigeria’s leading commercial airline today announced the launch of services to its second long haul international destination, Johannesburg, South Africa. The airline’s new daily non-stop service between Lagos and Johannesburg will commence on Monday, 1 June 2009.
 
In announcing the new flights, Arik Air’s Managing Director, Mike McTighe explained: “This is a particularly exciting development for all travellers between Lagos and Johannesburg. Our service will be operated by a newly acquired Airbus A340-500 aircraft. This allows us to offer our on-board Guests the very highest levels of in-flight service.”
 
Mr. McTighe added: “The airline’s first A340-500 is proving popular on the airline’s daily service between Lagos and London Heathrow. This second new airbus is configured in the same spacious layout, with 36 seats in Premier Class and 201 seats in Economy Class.”
 Flights will depart Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport each evening at 21.35 local time and arrive into Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport at 04.50 the following morning. The return flight will depart Johannesburg every afternoon at 13.45 local time, arriving back into Lagos at 19.00 local time on the same day.
 
“With such an attractive on-board product, Arik Air is very proud to be able to offer now, our awarding-winning service to customers wishing to travel between Lagos and Johannesburg,” said Mike McTighe. “Guests in Premier Class will enjoy luxurious leather-upholstered seats that convert into fully flat 75-inch long beds, a state-of-the-art personal video- and audio-on-demand entertainment system and a wide 17-inch personal TV screen. Guests will also have their own in-flight bar area in which to relax,” he stated.
 
The airline’s Economy cabin offers seat-back entertainment and comes in a comfortable 2-4-2 across seat layout. Each Guest has up to 50% more legroom than competitors. “No Guest will be more than one seat away from the aisle,” emphasised Mr. McTighe.
 
As with the launch of all Arik Air’s new routes, the airline’s team has undertaken considerable planning and research. Mr. McTighe pointed out: “The lead-up to the launch of Johannesburg is no different. We are very much aware of the strong economic and cultural links that Nigeria and South Africa maintain. We also know that strong business links unite the cities of Lagos and Johannesburg in particular. Our new Arik Air service is a direct response to the requirements of the various segments of the marketplace.”
 
Arik Air is confident that the airline’s attractive flight timings on the new route will prove popular with its rapidly expanding customer base in Nigeria. Mr. McTighe said he was confident that the convenient schedule would also prove popular with the airline’s future customers in South Africa. “In addition, the timings of the flights will make it easier for customers to connect to and from several domestic points within each country, especially within Nigeria since Arik Air already offers an extensive domestic flight network,” he stressed.
 
Mike McTighe went on to say: “We continue to deliver on our promises to make Arik Air a Nigerian airline that Nigerians are proud to fly. We constantly monitor, adapt and improve our products and services for customers.” He concluded: “We believe that the combination of our new daily non-stop service to Johannesburg and our innovative product offering is a winning formula. We are confident that over the coming months the South African market will become as positive about, and as loyal to, our brand as the market is here at home in Nigeria.”
 
Arik Air is Nigeria’s leading commercial airline, currently operating a fleet of 26 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircraft. The airline serves 19 airports across Nigeria as well as Accra (Ghana), Contonu (Benin) and London Heathrow (UK).

It operates a combined number of over 110 daily flights from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja and employs a workforce of over 1,300.