Arik Air, Nigeria and West Africa’s largest carrier, has begun exploring the possibility of introducing a direct service to India, following a recent visit from the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Ajjampur Rangalah Ghanashyam to the airline’s headquarters in Lagos.
The High Commissioner was at the Arik Air Aviation Centre to explore opportunities on how to facilitate direct flights between Nigeria and India. Presently, there are no direct flights between the two countries, with travelers currently forced to board connecting flights through Addis Ababa, South Africa or Dubai.
According to the High Commissioner, direct flights between Nigeria and India would boost business, tourism, save passengers flight time and reduce the stress of the journey. “Direct flights are also important during medical emergencies, because direct movement of patients during emergencies would save a lot of lives.”
Speaking after inspecting the facilities at Arik Air headquarters, Ghanashyam said he was impressed with the profile of the airline, which appears to him a professionally run carrier. He stressed Arik Air’s fleet size, route network and staff strength meant it was an airline that would serve as a strong partner in providing direct flights between India and Nigeria.
He explained: “With over 120 daily flights, 26 aircraft and over 2000 direct employees, Arik Air qualifies as a serious player for any Indian airline to partner with in order to facilitate seamless flights between the two countries.
“This visit to Arik Air is the first stage in building an initial bridge of understanding. The airlines will decide the potential and viability of a partnership. I am confident that Arik Air has done well, given the facilities I have seen,” Ghanashyam concluded.
The High Commissioner was received on the visit by the Chairman of Arik Air, Sir J.I.A. Arumemi-Ikhide, President/Group Chief Executive, Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide and Deputy Managing Director, Captain Ado Sanusi.