Nigeria & West Africa’s largest commercial carrier, Arik Air, is set to recommence operations between Abuja and London, Heathrow on 12th December (2011).
The airline will operate a daily flight between the two capitals, complementing its daily Lagos – London, Heathrow service bringing Arik’s total frequency of flights between Nigeria and the UK to 14 per week. Arik will fly in to Terminal 4 operating a New Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft with a two class configuration with 16 Business Class cradle style seats with 8.6’’ TV monitors and 126 ergonomically designed Economy Class seats with a seat pitch of 34’’.
Business and Economy Class passengers alike will enjoy Arik’s signature colloquial Nigerian in-flight offering including foods such as hot-pepper soup and jollof rice as well as a selection of the very best of Nollywood movies.
It will depart Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 11:35am (local time) and arrive in London at 5:05pm (local time). The inbound flight will conveniently depart Heathrow at 9:45pm, arriving in to Abuja for 5:10am affording passengers time to connect on to any one of the 16 domestic destinations served by Arik from its secondary hub including Port Harcourt, Calabar and Kano.
Arik first started the Abuja – London route in November 2009 before discontinuing the service at the end of summer schedule due to a number of extraneous factors including operational considerations to support the regional programme ahead of the airline’s launch to new destinations in Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali on 6th December (2011).
The increased frequency on the route (up from five pre-winter schedule) gives Nigeria a total of 14 of its 21 agreed frequencies with both the UK and Nigeria governments having entered in to negotiations to find a solution to accommodate the requested increase.
Dr Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, Group CEO/ President of Arik Air, commented on the re-launched service:
“We are delighted to offer an alternative service on the Abuja – London, Heathrow route again and I am sure many of our customers in the UK will be happy to hear that we now service London non-stop from Abuja and Lagos daily, offering them a greater amount of choice and convenience with the slightly revised schedule.
“We fully intended on flying the route again and we are glad that we have been able to fulfill this intention before the end of the year and we thank the respective governments for coming to agreeable terms which increases the capacity now and in to and out of Nigeria. The increased capacity on the route is desperately needed, especially for non-stop services, and we felt that recommencing ahead of the holiday rush would allow friends and families abroad a greater opportunity to travel home and spend Christmas with loved ones.”