Gatwick Airport has welcomed Air Nigeria as it begins a daily service to Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria.
Departing from Gatwick at 09:50 the flight will arrive in Lagos at 17:50 with the returning flight leaving Lagos at 23:50 and landing at Gatwick at 05:50 the following day.
The A330-200 aircraft is able to fly 295 passengers direct between the two cities.
Guy Stephenson, Gatwick Airport’s chief commercial officer said: “We are delighted to welcome Air Nigeria and its passengers to the airport today.
“We expect this route to be very popular, not only for people wishing to meet up with friends and family, but also with businesses in London and the South East wanting to help strengthen trade and investment links between the two countries.
“Nigeria is the third fastest growing economy in the world and is important therefore that we continue to help broaden trade links with these growing markets.”
“Air Nigeria’s preference to operate its London to Lagos route from Gatwick not only sends a strong message that Gatwick is competing but also that we have the spare capacity to grow.”
Over the past two-and-a-half years, Gatwick has been transforming the airport through a £1.2 billion investment programme to compete for airlines and grow passenger numbers.
The delivery of speedier check-in and security processes for passengers and the direct transport links into central London are just a few of the reasons why airlines, such as Air China, Korean Air, Hong Kong Airlines, Caribbean Airlines and Icelandair have chosen to operate from Gatwick this year.
David Amurun, Air Nigeria’s country manager for the UK said: “Air Nigeria’s return to its long hub operations with a London-Lagos route is exciting news for passengers.
“After a successful turn-around of the airline over the last two years, the airline is now well positioned to compete favourably on the international market.
“Gatwick Airport has excellent links into London and the South East making it easily accessible for business and leisure travellers.”