Here’s a photo of Arik Air’s new Airbus A330 awaiting delivery at Châteauroux. The aircraft, with (serial number) MSN 1002 is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW 4168A engines and will be wet leased from Amentum Capital. The A330 will be used on the Abuja-London route replacing the Boeing 737-800 service. It’s not clear yet whether the A330 has the same interiors of the A340 but we certainly hope so! With this latest delivery Arik Air operates 3 Airbus aircraft (2 A340s, 1 A330).
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Arik Air Press Release:
Number of passengers carried during Xmas/New Year jumps to 42% over previous year
Arik Air, today announced that it has carried a cumulative total of four million passengers since the airline’s launch at the end of October 2006. Arik Air also announced that it carried 42% more guests during the period 21 December 2009 through 3 January 2010 compared with the same period a year earlier.
Arik Air’s Managing Director, Mr Jason Holt, said this development speaks volumes about the investment, experience and skill that have driven the airline to the position it occupies today – Nigeria’s most important commercial airline, West Africa’s largest and one of Africa’s fastest growing.
Mr Holt continued: “In November 2009, Arik Air launched the first non-stop flights in a decade by a Nigerian carrier between Lagos and New York, re-connecting Nigeria’s commercial hub with one of the world’s foremost centres for international business.
The airline also launched its first long haul services from Abuja to London Heathrow and expanded services between Nigeria and West Coast markets. At the end of October 2009, when the airline celebrated its third anniversary, Arik Air had carried three and half million guests and just two months later, that figure has risen by half a million. Arik Air has been the success story of Nigerian commercial aviation.
That is set to continue and there is much to achieve. During 2010, the airline plans to expand its market share in Nigeria to 66 percent, up from the current 40 percent and expects to carry six million guests by the end of the year.”
Arik Air’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mr Suraj Sundaram explained that one factor contributing to the increase in the number of guests carried at the end of 2009 was the airline’s response to the high level of seasonal demand before and after the Christmas and New Year holiday period. “Offering services to 22 destinations within Nigeria, Arik Air was able to bring more Nigerian families together during the festive season than any other carrier.
The special Christmas flight program that commenced from Monday, December 21, 2009 saw an increase in capacity from our two hubs of Lagos and Abuja, to Enugu, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Benin, Warri and Calabar. Arik Air also provided additional capacity and extra flights to bring guests back to Lagos and Abuja after the Christmas and New Year festivities.”
Mr Sundaram added: “The increased capacity meant that the airline operated a total of 1,169 flights between December 21, 2009 and January 3, 2010 representing a 20 percent increase over the same period in the preceding year. Allowing for regular flights and the additional flights, Arik Air carried a total of 75,687 guests during the festive season, 42% more than during the same period a year earlier.”
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.
…GETTING IT 1/2 RIGHT
Personally, I predict passengers will be truly jubilating when the issue of inadequate terminal facilities in Lagos is addressed and approached with a sense urgency. The GAT Terminal, from which Arik operates, is both outdated and under-sized! It is not in par with the image which Arik aims to project. It is sincerely hoped that all the parties involved (Arik, FAAN, and Bi-Courtney) will work together to upgrade facilities as soon as possible.
I thought you would enjoy this photo of Arik’s A340-500 taken at New York’s JFK Airport.
Welcome to my blog. What is Arikmetics? It is a platform to discuss the current and future strategies of Arik Air “Wings of Nigeria” towards becoming the leading airline in Africa. I will discuss different topics, and specific proposals, geared to propel the young airline forward to become the undisputed African global airline leader. I would also like to emphasize that I am not affiliated to Arik Air in any way, directly or indirectly.
Arik Air is only three years old, yet currently operates 31 aircraft to a wide network of 30 destinations in Nigeria, West Africa, South Africa, the UK, and the US. Fasten your seatbelt, it will be an exciting flight!
Finally, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your own thoughts about Arik Air’s current and future strategies. I also welcome passengers’ opinions provided it is somewhat constructive and might discuss the issues raised in my blog.
Thank you for your interest.