Nigeria’s leading airline, Arik Air is building on the success of its domestic operations with the opening its first regional route and commencement of direct flights to Accra, Ghana.
The inaugural Lagos-Accra-Lagos flight is taking off from the international wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja on Friday, January 18, 2008.
The inaugural flight scheduled to depart Lagos at 6:05pm local time with subsequent two daily flights is the beginning of Arik Air’s ambitious plan to cover the African continent.
Arik Air will operate the Lagos-Accra-Lagos flight with its brand new Boeing 737-700NG aircraft.
Arik Air plans to cover the West African sub-region before making a foray into the entire African continent.
It is expected that when fully operational, Arik Air will be making 40 daily flights to different locations in Africa.
Speaking on the development, Arik Air’s Managing Director, Michael McTighe said: “Our aim is to promote economic and social integration in Africa and more importantly, promote African brotherhood. This new route will no doubt attract trade, tourism and development between Nigeria and Ghana.
“One important feature of our operation is to ensure that our guests from Africa have a seamless connection to any part of Nigeria. For instance, if you buy an Arik Air ticket from Morocco, we would take you to Port Harcourt without paying extra. This is another example of our spirit of innovation and adding more value to our guests.”
The Managing Director stressed that “the recent commencement of scheduled flights to Maiduguri, Yola and the Enugu-Abuja route has proved very popular with Arik Air’s guests”.
“We are proud of our strides in route development and growth”, McTighe added.
To ensure a smooth operation, Arik Air will this year be taking delivery of more brand new aircraft. This will be made up of six Boeing 737-700NG; four Boeing 737-800; and two Bombardier Q400 Dash 8.
As part of the planned integration of the West African sub-region, Arik Air will be sending a delegation to the current Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State summit holding in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.