To cope with its expanding operations, Nigeria’s fastest growing domestic operator, Arik Air, is to establish another hub in Abuja. This will compliment the Lagos hub where its hangar is located.
The chairman of the airline, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Johnson, who made the disclosure at a meeting with the management and staff of the carrier, said the nation’s number one airline has grown in size that its present hub at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos could no longer contain its operations.
The airline, which started operation in October 2006 with three brand new aircraft in its fleet, has grown to a carrier that today boasts of 18 aircraft, 10 of them brand new.
With the airline still expecting about 14 brand new aircraft before the end of this year, the chairman stated that it is imperative for the company to create another hub in Abuja.
He however, disclosed that Lagos would still remain the control centre of the airline while an office complex would be built in Abuja to serve the new hub to be manned by a regional manager.
Sir Arumemi-Johnson also said the airline would be opening two city sales centres in Lagos (Ikoyi and Ikeja), and one each in Abuja and Port Harcourt for the convenience of the airline’s guests.
On the Niger Republic operation, the chairman told the staff that all is set for the take off of Arik Niger in the first week of August. Arik Air has been designated the national carrier of the French speaking West African country.
Meanwhile, following the success of its daily morning flight to Kaduna, Arik Air has launched, on July 17, 2008, a second flight from Lagos to Kaduna, with continuing service to Abuja.
This new service will not only offer the traveling public a convenient afternoon departure, but also connect Kaduna with a direct service to Abuja. Flights will operate Monday to Friday leaving Lagos at 4:10pm, arriving Kaduna International Airport at 5:30pm, then continuing onwards to Abuja at 6:00pm and arriving Abuja at 6:30pm.
Michael McTighe, Managing Director Arik Air says, “The response to our morning service has been phenomenal and since we are committed to offering more choice and flexibility of schedules, this service improvement will do just that for the people of the Liberal state. With this additional flight, we are expanding the network in the North, while also offering our guests a choice of morning and afternoon departures to Kaduna. The state government and the traveling public have been very supportive and for that, we are extremely grateful.”
Arik Air is Nigeria’s largest airline with a modern state-of the art fleet of 18 new aircraft servicing 19 airports with over 82 flights a day and employing a work force of 1100. The airline is also planning intercontinental routes from late 2008. For more information on Wings of Nigeria, please visit www.arikair.com