Airline to build success on its Bombardier Q400 operation.
Arik Air, Nigeria’s largest commercial airline and wet lease provider Denim Air have brought to an end an agreement by which the Dutch lessor had provided a fleet of turboprop aircraft and crew to the airline. The arrangement with Denim Air for wet lease operations terminated on the natural expiration of the contract.
Arik Air’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Suraj Sundaram explained that the agreement, in place since 2007, had provided Arik Air with 3 Dash8-Q300 and 2 Fokker 50 turboprop aircraft as well as professionally trained crews, maintenance staff and services. This enabled the airline to initiate services and increase capacity on low-density routes; on routes where multiple daily frequencies were required and on routes where airports had short runways, such as Port Harcourt (NAF Base) and Warri.
Mr. Sundaram said “Both Arik Air and Denim Air did discuss the possibility of renewing the contracts however, no agreement was consummated. Denim Air is currently undergoing a corporate restructuring and when this has been concluded we will again determine the possibilities and requirements for engaging Denim Air services going forward.”
Arik Air has deployed two recently acquired brand new Bombardier Q400 aircraft on routes that previously were served using the Denim Air aircraft.
Mr. Sundaram further explained: “The exit of the Denim Air equipment from the Arik Air fleet allows the airline to optimize its brand new Bombardier Q400 aircraft fleet and to step up capacity on key routes in response to demand. Each of our new Q400 aircraft seats 72 guests in two cabins, a 10-seat Business Class cabin and a 62-seat Economy Class cabin. We already know that the aircraft’s speed, comfort and jet-like cabin experience have made it popular among our guests on existing routes. Two additional Q400 aircraft will join the fleet in the near term and service Arik Air’s turboprop requirements.”
Arik Air is Nigeria’s leading commercial airline. It operates a fleet of 25 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircraft. The airline serves 22 airports across Nigeria as well as Accra (Ghana), Banjul (Gambia), Cotonou (Benin), Dakar (Senegal), Freetown (Sierra Leone), 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 2,100.