Arik Air to launch non-stop services between Abuja and London Heathrow

London Heathrow will be Arik Air’s first international destination from Abuja.

Arik Air, Nigeria’s largest commercial airline, today announced the launch of non-stop flights between Abuja and London Heathrow beginning on Thursday, 26 November 2009.
The new Abuja - London Heathrow services will operate five times per week, on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Outbound flights will depart Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at 10.30am local time, arriving at London Heathrow (Terminal 4) at 4.05pm local time. Return flights will depart London Heathrow (Terminal 4) at 9.50pm local time, arriving Abuja at 5.20am local time, the following morning.
Arik Air’s Managing Director, Mr Jason Holt said: “Arik Air is extremely proud to connect Nigeria’s Federal Capital directly with London. The introduction of direct flights between Abuja and Nigerian State capitals has been at the forefront of Arik Air’s domestic expansion strategy, London has always been of great importance for Nigerians and the airline first launched non-stop flights between Lagos and London Heathrow on 15 December 2008. Therefore, it is strategically important and also appropriate that Arik Air’s first international service from Abuja should be London.”
Arik Air’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mr Suraj Sundaram said that from Abuja, Arik Air already serves 18 other destinations across Nigeria with an especially strong network of feeder services from northern states. Mr Sundaram explained: “Arik Air’s extensive domestic network from Abuja means Arik Air can offer guests travelling to and from cities in the northern regions a convenient London connection that no other airline can match. The airline’s new Abjua-London Heathrow service will also enable Nigerian government officials to choose a Nigerian airline to London for the first time.”
Mr Sundaram went on to explain that one of Arik Air’s brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft ‘Sultan of Sokoto’ would serve the Abuja-London Heathrow route. “Our brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft is ideally suited for flying medium haul routes and making short turnarounds at airports thereby helping Arik Air to continue providing our guests with a convenient and punctual service. The aircraft is also one of the quietest and most environmentally friendly aircraft operating in the world today. It complies fully with airport noise restrictions and with current and future international emissions standards. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft offers 20 Business Class seats and 126 Economy Class seats offering personal audio and video entertainment including a choice of short programs and a selection of Hollywood and Nollywood movie favourites.
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 21 airports across Nigeria as well as Accra (Ghana), Banjul (Gambia), Cotonou (Benin), Dakar (Senegal), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Niamey (Niger),
London Heathrow (UK) and Johannesburg (South Africa). The airline will commence non-stop flights between Lagos and New York (JFK) on 29 November 2009.
The airline currently operates 124 daily flights from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja.
It employs a workforce of more than 1,800.