Nigeria and West Africa’s largest commercial airline, Arik Air, has met and satisfied the requirements as stipulated by the US Department of Transport on foreign operated aircraft into the United States, becoming the first Nigerian airline to meet the criteria in 15 years.
The approval grants Arik Air the ability to commence operations with Nigerian registered aircraft directly into the US. It currently operates a three times weekly schedule from its hub in Lagos to New York through a part ACMI wet-lease with Hi Fly Transportes Aeroes of Portugal.
In order to have Part 129, an airline must demonstrate airworthiness as defined by the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), meeting standards in operational areas.
The acquisition of Part 129 approval follows closely on Arik Air’s placement on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry, a requirement to full IATA membership.
Dr Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, Group CEO of Arik Air, said;
“Arik Air continues to demonstrate its impeccable and rapid operational strength, reliability and safety. To receive Part 129 from the US FAA so soon after our placement on the IOSA registry is a fantastic achievement. This is also very good news for the aviation industry in Nigeria as a whole, to have Nigerian registered aircraft operating into the US for the first time in over a decade indicates the major steps that have been taken by the commercial operators and parastatals last year in obtaining Category 1 status for the country and it is an achievement that we all share in.”