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Arik Air, Nigeria’s leading commercial airline today announced that the executive board of Arik Air Limited (Nigeria) has accepted the secondment of Mr. Jason Holt from Arik International SA to Arik Air Limited (Nigeria) as its Managing Director, effective Monday 19 October 2009. Arik International SA provides logistical business support and management consultancy services to Arik Air Limited (Nigeria). During the past 18 months, based out of London, Mr. Holt has performed the role of a consultant and advisor in assisting the airline to integrate its brand new Airbus A340-500 fleet into its operations.

Announcing the new appointment in Lagos, the Chairman of Arik Air Limited, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide said: “Mr. Holt is a highly experienced senior airline industry professional. He has spent close to three decades working in the international aviation industry and in his recent advisory capacity at Arik International SA, he has already made a considerable and highly valued contribution to Arik Air’s international expansion. I am delighted to have him seconded to lead Arik Air through its next growth phase.”

Mr. Holt is not new to Nigeria or Nigerian aviation. Having worked with Virgin Nigeria Airways Limited at its inception in 2005 where he was the airline’s Director of Flight Operations, he secured the carrier’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and led the acquisition of its Boeing and Airbus fleet and structured its operational teams. Previously, he was also Virgin Atlantic Airways’ Head of Safety in the UK.

During 2006-2007, Mr. Holt was Director of Flight Operations for BMED Limited, a British Airways’ franchise and was instrumental in establishing a safe, punctual and cost efficient Airbus operation across the airline’s Central Asian, African, Near East and Levant networks. He was also formerly the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Saudi Arabia’s National Air Services Limited (NAS), responsible for all aspects of flying, technical support and airport passenger facilities.

Accepting his secondment, Mr. Holt said: “In performing my recent advisory role to Arik International SA, I have been privileged to be part of a team that has helped Arik Air secure its position as a world class airline and set its footprints in the international markets. I am delighted to now be returning to Lagos to take up this position at the airline’s headquarters and to lead Arik Air’s continued expansion in the domestic, regional and international markets.”

The 46 year-old pilot has an Executive MBA from London Business School, IT Sloan School of Management and Harvard Law School. A former UK Royal Air Force Officer, Mr. Holt is a member of the Aviation Club of the UK and a Fellow of the UK’s Royal Aeronautical Society.

Arik Air is Nigeria’s leading commercial airline. It operates a fleet of 29 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircraft. The airline currently serves 20 airports across Nigeria as well as Accra (Ghana), Banjul (Gambia), Cotonou (Benin), Dakar (Senegal),

Freetown (Sierra Leone), Niamey (Niger), London Heathrow (UK) and Johannesburg (South Africa). The airline will soon commence non-stop flights between Lagos and New York (JFK) and Abuja and London (LHR).

The airline currently operates 120 flights daily from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja.

It employs a workforce of more than 1,700.