Monthly Archives: December 2009
Children visit the cockpit of an Arik CRJ-900 in Kaduna. Arik sponsored 15 young NCAT students in 2007. I’m trying to gather some information regarding their status, but it’s very difficult to access reliable and up-to-date info in Nigeria. If you have any hints/leads for me (especially to contact the said 15 cadets) please contact me.
It has been circulating around news agencies that a Nigerian airline (not Arik Air) has been re-certified by the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), affirming its capacity to conduct flight and ground operations to international standards.
This brings to light the question of why Arik Air, the largest Nigerian airline with a modern fleet and wide domestic and international network, is not yet IOSA-certified. Possible reasons include the relative young age of the airline (just over three years old) and “teething challenges”.
In any case, an early certification can offers Arik Air numerous advantages including:
1- Membership in IATA (International Air Transport Association)
2- Universally accepted safety procedures and systems including proper documentation
3- Broader access to international code-share and partnership opportunities (Joining a global alliance is an example), giving Arik passengers a wider coverage directly from Nigeria
4- Audit reductions and cost-savings
5- Increased efficiency in operations and management systems
According to IATA’s website, there are over 310 IOSA-certified airlines globally, including 18 in Africa.
It is hoped that Arik Air will heed the calls of this blog and double efforts towards IOSA certification. The readiness of Nigerian aviation would be enhanced.
Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide was appointed Group Chief Executive at Arik Air, effective December 21st. He previously served as Executive Director and founded Arik Air International, based in London, which provides strategic and HR consultancy to Arik Air. It will be interesting to see what major announcements are made to coincide with this appointment. Already, there is talk of “major changes” coming soon in the way of “Wings of Nigeria”. An aircraft order perhaps?
By: GlobalFlyer (Regular contributor)
After some unexplained delays, Arik Air has finally taken delivery of two of four ordered, Canadian-built Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s, seating 72 passengers in a two-class layout. Following their certification by regulatory authorities (and “proving flights” by the NCAA), the aircraft have entered commercial service on several routes including Lagos-Kaduna/Benin/Ilorin.
Passengers will notice these aircraft to be much more comfortable than other turboprops flown by Arik (Dash 8-300’s and Fokker 50’s wet-leased and operated by Denim Air of Holland on behalf of Arik). The –Q400 will cut-short flight times as it is considerably faster at cruise altitude (670 Km/hr or 360 Kt), reduce cabin noise to jet-like conditions (Boeing 737 levels) and reduce the effects of turbulence, among others. In other words, passengers will feel as if they were flying a jet airliner.
Arik is likely to profit immensely from these aircraft, as they are owned and operated by Arik Air flight and cabin crew, saving on expensive wet-leasing arrangements with Denim Air. Furthermore, the Dash 8-400 has a very low operating cost per seat in the regional aircraft market particularly on short routes of 400 nautical miles or less. This means Arik Air is probably able to break-even on most of its Nigerian routes with fewer than 36 passengers onboard the 72-seater aircraft.
I would think that these aircraft are also well-positioned to fly profitably on new international, short-haul routes (Lagos-Malabo/Lome/Yaounde/Kumasi/Sao Tome), serving the airline’s growth plans. Arik already expressed its intent to serve some of these markets.
I am curious to know why the order for this type is limited to four (4) air frames. Denim Air operates 3 Fokker 50s and 3 Dash 8-300s for Arik and I would assume these will eventually be returned to the lessor and replaced with Arik Air metal. If I factor in the Denim Air replacements and a couple of additional Dash 8-Q400s for international routes, this would add up to a requirement of 12 Dash 8-Q400s, without taking growth forecasts into account! Only Arik Air management can answer this.
Basic Tech Specifications of the Dash-8-400
Max. cruise speed: 667 km/hr
Range: 2522 km
Length: 32.8 m
Height (to top of horizontal tail): 8.3 m
Fuselage diameter: 2.69 m
Cabin length: 18.8m
Max. takeoff weight: 29,260 kg
Engine type: 2 PW150A
Route: Lagos-London Heathrow
“I flew the Arik Air flight to London last Sunday and it was a good flight, nice plane, professional staff, however the boarding could be more efficient, 15 min delay”
…AS 2009 DRAWS TO A CLOSE
2009 was a busy year for Arik Air. Thanks to Anthony for the below photos.