Nigeria’s leading commercial airline, Arik Air, has finished a busy summer season by flying its ten millionth passenger – a landmark achievement in its short history.
The carriage of ten million passengers is an important milestone for an airline that has grown rapidly since it began operating in 2006.
This year alone Arik has transported over 1.5 million passengers across its expanding network of 20 domestic, ten regional and three long-haul destinations.
Nigerian businessman Abdul Aziz Mustapha, director of RealNet Sandton Properties, became Arik’s ten millionth guest, travelling on the airline’s Johannesburg to Lagos route, one of Arik’s key long-haul destinations.
Mustapha was greeted by Arik Air’s vice president South Africa, Rodger Whittle, upon check-in at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, presented with an Arik memento, an upgrade to business class for the flight and a pair of complimentary business class tickets for his next Arik Air flight.
Since it began carrying passengers on its first route in October 2006, Arik now employs over 1,500 staff worldwide, operates an average of 120 flights a day and is currently the leading carrier in Nigeria with 63 per cent share of the market capacity.
In addition to its regional destinations and Johannesburg schedule, Arik’s long-haul routes from Lagos to both London Heathrow and New York JFK have strengthened the airline’s international presence.
Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, group chief executive of Arik Air, said of the milestone: “Carrying ten million passengers in less than six years is a remarkable achievement for Arik Air that further underlines our status as Africa’s fastest growing airline.
“We are particularly proud to have achieved this milestone on one of our three long-haul routes, which remain an important focus for us in expanding our global network.”