Number of guests carried during Christmas - New Year period jumps 42% over previous year.

Arik Air, Nigeria's leading commercial airline, today announced that it has carried a cumulative total of four million guests since the airline's launch at the end of October 2006. Arik Air also announced that it carried 42% more guests during the period 21 December 2009 through 3 January 2010 compared with the same period a year earlier.
 
In announcing the significant milestone in the airline's growth, Arik Air's Managing Director, Mr Jason Holt, said it speaks volumes about the investment, experience and skill that have driven the airline to the position it occupies today - Nigeria's most important commercial airline, West Africa's largest and one of Africa's fastest growing.
 
Mr Holt continued: "In November 2009, Arik Air launched the first non-stop flights in a decade by a Nigerian carrier between Lagos and New York, re-connecting Nigeria's commercial hub with one of the world's foremost centres for international business. The airline also launched its first long haul services from Abuja to London Heathrow and expanded services between Nigeria and West Coast markets. At the end of October 2009, when the airline celebrated its third anniversary, Arik Air had carried three and half million guests and just two months later, that figure has risen by half a million. Arik Air has been the success story of Nigerian commercial aviation. That is set to continue and there is much to achieve. During 2010, the airline plans to expand its market share in Nigeria to 66 percent, up from the current 40 percent and expects to carry six million guests by the end of the year."
 
Arik Air's Chief Commercial Officer, Mr Suraj Sundaram explained that one factor contributing to the increase in the number of guests carried at the end of 2009 was the airline's response to the high level of seasonal demand before and after the Christmas and New Year holiday period. "Offering services to 22 destinations within Nigeria, Arik Air was able to bring more Nigerian families together during the festive season than any other carrier. The special Christmas flight program that commenced from Monday, December 21, 2009 saw an increase in capacity from our two hubs of Lagos and Abuja, to Enugu, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Benin, Warri and Calabar. Arik Air also provided additional capacity and extra flights to bring guests back to Lagos and Abuja after the Christmas and New Year festivities."
 
Mr Sundaram added: "The increased capacity meant that the airline operated a total of 1,169 flights between December 21, 2009 and January 3, 2010 representing a 20 percent increase over the same period in the preceding year. Allowing for regular flights and the additional flights, Arik Air carried a total of 75,687 guests during the festive season, 42% more than during the same period a year earlier."
 
Arik Air is Nigeria's leading commercial airline. It operates a fleet of 31 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircraft. The airline currently serves 22 airports across Nigeria as well as Accra (Ghana), Banjul (Gambia), Cotonou (Benin), Dakar (Senegal), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Niamey (Niger), London Heathrow (UK), Johannesburg (South Africa) and New York JFK (USA).
 
The airline currently operates over 130 flights daily from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja.
 
It employs a workforce of more than 1,800.