A management team from Nigeria’s leading domestic carrier, Arik Air is scheduled to meet with officials of aircraft manufacturing giant, Boeing Corporation of United States next month to discuss issues of mutual interest.
The meeting which will be taking place in Seattle, U.S.A. base of Boeing will among others discuss the configuration of the Boeing 777 aircraft ordered by Arik Air.
Arik Air has placed orders for two B777-200LR and three B777-300ER aircraft due for delivery in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Chairman of Arik Air, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Johnson, who is expected to lead the team to Seattle, said the airline is proposing four-class seat configurations of presidential class, first class, business class and economy class for the new aircraft.
Sir Arumemi-Johnson disclosed that when delivered, the aircraft will be deployed to the airline’s long haul routes. Already, Arik Air has been granted approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation to commence direct commercial flights into the U.S.
However, Arik Air will be expected to operate the scheduled commercial flight into the U.S. using only a wet leased aircraft from a duly authorized and properly supervised U.S. or foreign air carrier.
This arrangement will subsist until Nigeria attains the Category One Status which will enable Arik Air and other designated Nigerian carriers fly into the U.S with their own aircraft.
Arik Air is one of Boeing’s major partners in Africa. The Nigerian carrier had last year bought four brand new Boeing 737-700NG from the Boeing Corporation. Prior to the ferrying of the first set of B737-700NG aircraft to the Arik Aviation Centre in July 2007, Sir Arumemi-Johnson had led a delegation of Arik Air team to Seattle, U.S. to the formal delivery of the aircraft.
Last year also, Boeing Corporation invited Arik Air management to the launch of its latest product, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
In January 2008, a team of Boeing officials was in Nigeria to organize a three day airline planning seminar for Arik Air staff at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos.