Arik Air is a wholly-owned Nigerian airline with a commitment to the people of Nigeria to deliver new standards in aviation.
We were founded in 2002 as the vision of Sir Arumemi-Ikhide, a leading and well-respected Nigerian businessman who understood that if business was to succeed, there needed to be efficiency and quality of service. He had spent many years travelling throughout Nigeria without the satisfaction of knowing that he could depend on the existing choice of air transport services available to him. He also recognised the importance of healthy market competition in achieving efficiency. A plan for change was soon set in motion.
2002, with the national airline in liquidation, Sir Arumemi-Ikhide buys a Hawker jet aircraft for his personal use, safety and convenience. Word spreads and before long his business contacts in the oil and gas industry are using his aircraft to travel throughout Nigeria too. He buys a second Hawker jet. Sir Arumemi-Ikhide is the owner of a corporate jet business.
2004, Arik Air is incorporated with the goal of becoming an airline that ‘Nigeria and the rest of the world would be proud to fly’ (Sir Arumemi-Ikhide).
2005, Sir Arumemi-Ikhide brings together an experienced airline start-up team and sources the best aircraft to launch an airline that will set new standards and change the face of the aviation industry in Nigeria.
April, 2006, Arik Air takes over the former Nigeria Airways Limited facility in Lagos and major reconstruction work begins to transform it into a modern office complex.
October 10, 2006, Arik Air’s new headquarters and maintenance facility are inaugurated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, represented by the then Aviation Minister, Professor Babalola Aborishade.
October 30, 2006, following the completion of successful ‘proving’ flights, Arik Air welcomes passengers on board brand new Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft, the first new commercial aircraft to operate in Nigeria for over 20 years.
In 2007 domestic services are expanded from Lagos and from the airline’s second hub of Abuja. The airline invests circa $US 3.7 billion in an order for new medium and long haul aircraft.
January 2008, the airline commences our first African regional service, to Accra (Ghana).
May 2008, wins the International Quality Summit Award in New York (USA), (Gold Award) in recognition of Excellence & Business Prestige.
August 2008, introduces a state-of-the-art Operations Control Centre (OCC) at our head office in Lagos, making us the second airline in the world and first in Africa to have such equipment.
December 2008, commercial operations begin on the airline’s first international long haul route with a daily non-stop service between Lagos and London Heathrow (UK). The route is served by Arik’s flagship new A340-500 aircraft, operated by partner Hi Fly Transportes Aeros S.A. of Portugal.
April 2009, welcomes more than 2.5 million guests on board our domestic, regional and international services since launch.
June 2009, commences operations to its second long haul destination - Johannesburg, South Africa - as well as flights to several destinations in the West African region; linking Lagos to Freetown (Sierra Leone), Dakar (Senegal), Banjul (Gambia) as well as Cotonou (Benin).
July 2009 carries its 3 millionth passenger.
November 2009 launches third long-haul destination - New York, operating non-stop flights three times a week, between New York JFK (USA) and Lagos. In addition, Arik launches non-stop services between the capital cities of London and Abuja from our new home at the renovated London Heathrow Terminal 4.
February 2010, Arik Air’s Chairman, Sir J.I.A. Arumemi-Ikhide honoured at the 15th Annual ThisDay Award 2010 as one of the 50 most distinguished Nigerians, for his commitment to launch and build Arik Air. The airline also receives the prestigious Nigerian Airline of the Year Award for the third successive year.
August 2010, obtains International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) certification from US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowing the carrier to operate Nigerian registered aircraft into the USA.
October 2010 wins the International Quality Summit Award in Paris (France), (Platinum Awards).
December 2010 carries its 6 millionth passenger.
January 2011, launches first Frequent Flyer Programme, Arik WingsPlus
March 2011, obtains placement onto the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry. In the same month, receives Part 129 approval from the USA Department of Transport and Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to commence operations to the United States in Nigerian registered aircraft, becoming the first Nigerian airline to receive the approval in over 15 years.
October 2011, becomes a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) having successfully completed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).
December 2011 commences direct flights connecting Cotonou, Bamako (Mali) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) with Lagos. Arik also becomes the first Nigerian airline to fly non-stop between Lagos and Luanda (Angola).
August 2012, launches second foray into Central Africa, connecting Lagos to Douala (Cameroon.)
September 2012, carries 10 millionth passenger in under six years of operation.
October 2012, wins the Best Security & Safety Conscious Airline 2012 award for the second consecutive year.
December 2012, launches third Central African destination to Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo).
January 2013, launches new Book-on-Hold online payment option for Nigeria customers. The first of a wave of new online initiatives
April 2013, receives “Company of the Year 2012” award at the Leadership Annual Conference in Abuja.
May 2013, launches Online Check-in
July 2013, expands wide-bodied, long-haul fleet with the introduction of A330-200 aircraft.
August 18 2013, launches Mobile Website
Sept 17th 2013, launches the rebranded and redesigned corparate website and Internet Booking Engine
Oct 30th 2013, expands wide-bodied, long-haul fleet with the introduction of another A330-200 aircraft.