Nigeria’s Arik Air has got off to a flying start with its inaugural international route from Lagos to London Heathrow. The daily service has defied the global downturn by enjoying packed flights since its launch last December.
Started in 2002 as the brainchild of Nigerian entrepreneur Sir Arumemi-Ikhide, Arik Air has grown to become Nigeria’s largest carrier’s connecting 20 airports from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja, operating over 100 daily flights on 27 routes. It also became the first airline in Nigeria in 20 years to introduce new commercial aircraft, and currently operates an ultra modern fleet of 20 aircraft.
Meanwhile it has been busy planning its international expansion, starting with the service from its Lagos hub to London Heathrow.
Regional and long-haul routes to neighbouring Africa countries and Europe are scheduled to be rolled out this year, including a service to Amsterdam, Madrid and Birmingham. There are also plans to fly to the United States, with permission by the U.S. Department of Transport already granted, as well as a service to Trinidad and Tobago.
It has also started an international service to Accra in neighbouring Ghana, and plans to operate in the future to Dakar.
Arik Air offers a spacious layout on board its brand new Airbus A340-500s with enhanced 36 fully lie-flat ‘seat-bed’ in Business First cabin, and 201 seats in Economy, offering more comfort and legroom than any airline on this route.
Other new features on board include in-seat massager and a bar and lounge area for Premier passengers to socialise and relax. The extra wide Premier seats and 50 more leg room in the Economy cabin, gourmet cuisine and a mix of Nigerian and International cabin crew added to a host of other comforts offered in the cabin.
Arik Air’s General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Suraj Sundaram, says: “As a reward to our valued guests, Arik Air is offering flexible ticket fares which will enable those travelling from our other hubs- Abuja and Port Harcourt- to fly free to Lagos and connect our Lagos -London flight. We believe that our guests deserve better value if they are travelling international on Arik Air services and we are best suited to offer this through our network of 18 airports in the region.”