Nigerian airline attracts Africa and US

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A rising number of African countries is reaching out to Nigeria’s fast-growing domestic carrier, Arik Air, to operate flights from the commercial city of Lagos to their capitals, according to the airline’s management.

Arik Air said, in a statement published by the local media Tuesday, that it had received invitations from the Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Cameroon and Senegal to fly into the countries.

It also claimed to have received approvals from the civil aviation authorities of the respective countries.

Airline Chairman Joseph Arumeni-Johnson was quoted as saying the invitations were a testament to Arik Air’s achievement in Nigeria.

Since starting operations 30 Oct. 2006, Arik Air’s network of domestic routes has grown to 24, in addition to one regional route.

The wholly-owned Nigerian airline has also been designated the national carrier of Republic of Niger.

Arik, which started operations with three brand new planes – Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft – become the first airline to fly new aircraft in Nigeria for over 20 years.

In April, the U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) said Arik had satisfied all requirements and thus qualified to fly direct into any part of the U. S.

However, Arik Air will be expected to operate the scheduled commercial flight into the U.S. using only a wet leased aircraft from a duly authorised and properly supervised U.S. or foreign air carrier.

Earlier this year, Arik Air beat other operators to win the prestigious Thisday newspaper’s ‘Airline of The year Award’.

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