Published on : Saturday, November 2, 2013
Arik Air managing director, Mr Chris Ndulue, said the airline planned to start services to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“Our desire to operate these routes is that Nigerians want to go there. There are enough passengers to warrant our operations to these cities. We need to tap into opportunities these cities will bring. We have added two wide bodied aircraft to make the operations viable,” he added.
He said the airline had come a long way during its seven years of service including creation of more than 2500 jobs, connecting several cities in Nigeria and training pilots on wide body aircraft among others.
Ndulue said, “The airline has an extremely strong market position in terms of the scale of operations, destinations served, fleet age, size and choice of schedules and frequencies and has earned its position as a true Nigerian carrier.”
He listed some of the airline’s many achievements within the last one year which included inauguration of services to Kinshasha, winning the Leadership Newspapers’ Award, taking delivery of two Airbus A330-200 aircraft and launch of a user friendly website among others.
He also said Arik Air has carried about 13 million passengers in seven years. He lamented the state of infrastructure in the aviation industry of Nigeria and urged the government to invest in airport perimeter fencing even as he asked aviation authorities to accord Arik Air some respect especially in the area of giving it space to operate.