Arik Air on Thursday, August 12, 2010 got a rousing welcome in Monrovia, Liberia when its inaugural flight to the West Africa nation touched down at Roberts International Airport, Monrovia.
Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s leading airline on Thursday, August 12, 2010 got a rousing welcome in Monrovia, Liberia when its inaugural flight to the West Africa nation touched down at Roberts International Airport, Monrovia.
A large turnout of dignitaries including four Liberian Ministers and other high ranking government officials were at the airport to welcome the ‘Wings of Nigeria’ as it began its scheduled services into Monrovia via Accra.
Liberia’s Minister of State for Development and Reconstruction, Hon. Natty B. Davis who represented the Liberian President, Her Excellency, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said the Liberian people were delighted to witness the arrival of another airline on the Monrovia-Lagos route. This he said signified the gradual growth of the Liberian economy.
The Director General of Liberian Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA), Mr. Richelieu Williams stressed the importance of the coming of Arik Air to Monrovia. According to him, Arik Air has met all the basic requirements of the Liberian civil aviation and hoped that more airlines would follow the Arik Air example by inaugurating flights into Monrovia.
In his speech, Arik Air’s Senior Vice President, Commercial, Mr. Suraj Sundaram said the launch of services between Lagos and Monrovia is well timed since the Liberian economy is beginning to benefit from infrastructure improvements and an increased confidence from the West African community in Liberia’s potential to facilitate trade and tourism.
He emphasized that Arik Air is better positioned than any other West African airline to provide an extensive range of connections from Monrovia to Lagos via Accra and beyond to 30 destinations.
Other VIP dignitaries at the Monrovia ceremony were the Liberian Minister of Labour, Mr. Tiawon Gonglo, Deputy Minister of Transport, Prof. Julius Ceaser and Special Envoy to Liberian President, Ambassador Mayson Don Tuan-Wleh.
Earlier at the flag off ceremony held at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos shortly before the flight departed for Monrovia, the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh said the Liberian government is grateful to Arik Air for making this investment, which will no doubt facilitate trade and investment as well as provide travelers another viable choice of air travel in the sub-region.
“Air services, such as the one Arik is starting today will no doubt create the much needed multiplier effect for trade and investment in Liberia and West Africa,” Ambassador said. He added that the government of Liberia is now upgrading Roberts International Airport, Monrovia which was once the gateway to Africa. “Arik will join a distinguished club of airlines to connect this ideally located airport to the rest of the world. This is a big relief to Liberians and other travelers who will now have additional days and choices in making connections.”
Arik Air services from Lagos to Monrovia via Accra will operate twice weekly on Monday and Thursday. Monrovia becomes Arik Air’s sixth destination on the West Coast adding to Cotonou (Benin), Accra (Ghana), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Banjul (Gambia) and Dakar (Senegal).
Arik Air is Nigeria’s leading commercial airline. It now operates a fleet of 26 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), London Heathrow (UK), Johannesburg (South Africa) and New York JFK (USA).
The airline currently operates over 150 flights daily from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja.