Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest commercial airline, along with the world’s largest aerospace company, The Boeing Company of the US, recently hosted Arik Air’s financial partners in Seattle for a series of planning courses designed to provide a deeper understanding of the aviation business and manufacturing process.
The exercise will greatly enhance the relationship between Boeing, Arik Air and the financial community in Nigeria. Boeing invited Arik Air and its financial partners to an executive seminar September 12 – 13 at the aerospace company’s facility in Seattle, Washington. The executive seminar featured presentations on the airplane acquisition process, airplane contract process, the manufacturing process and an airline business overview.
“Arik Air is one of Africa’s largest airlines with an extremely high potential for continued growth,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America, & Caribbean for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “These types of exercises allow us an opportunity to better understand our customers, the environment in which they operate, and their requirements for future airplane needs. It also gives Boeing, as the world’s largest aerospace company, the opportunity to explain the manufacturing, contracting, and acquisition process to an audience that doesn’t always deal in this environment, which is good for everyone involved.”
The delegation in Seattle was led by Larry Tolliver, Sales director for Nigeria for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Tolliver led the delegation through various presentations, courses, and factory tours during the 2-day visit to Seattle.
The Arik Air team was led by the Group Chief Executive Officer/President, Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide and included the Managing Director/Executive Vice President, Mr. Chris Ndulue; Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Bill Clark; the Managing Director of Ecobank, Mr. Jibril Aku; the Executive Director Corporate Banking, Ecobank, Ms Foluke Aboderin; Deputy General Manager Corporate Banking, Union Bank, Mr. Maurice Phido; and Executive Director (R & R) AMCON, Mr. Tajudeen Ahmed.
Arik Air Group CEO/President, Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide elaborated on the seminar:
“Arik Air and The Boeing Company have come a long way in this mutual relationship. This is not the first time Boeing will be extending its hand of friendship to Arik Air. We have had several of our top management staff and pilots attend courses at Boeing facilities in Seattle and St Louis. This is simply one of the benefits of our partnership.”
In 2008, The Boeing Company sent some of its executives to Nigeria to organize a top level airline planning course for a select group of Arik Air staff.
Arik Air today is one of Africa’s fastest growing airlines and a leading African customer to The Boeing Company. Of the total 23 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, 13 are Boeing products (made up of nine Boeing Next-Generation 737-700s and four 737-800). The airline has also placed orders for two Boeing 747-8 Intercontinentals, making Arik Air the first and only African carrier to order the newest version of the iconic 747 jumbo jet.