Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Arik Air To Build Super Hangar, Expands Operation

As Arik Air celebrates its sixth year in operation, the airline has revealed plans to further expand its operations to destinations in the United States, Asia and Africa even as it has disclosed plans to construct what it described as a Super Aircraft Maintenance and Overhaul Hangar at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, for the maintenance of wide-body aircraft.

This, according to the Managing Director of the airline, Mr. Chris Ndulue, would be in partnership with the Lufthansa Technik and would be available for use by other airlines.

Talking to journalists during the sixth year anniversary celebration of the airline, Ndulue, who also unveiled other projects which the airline would embark on in the future, said the airline has made its mark in the industry as it has successfully provided connectivity to major cities across the country and beyond, but stressed it was time for the airline to also build structures around its operations.

While counting the airline’s achievements, Ndulue said that when it started operations six years ago, it could only carry an insignificant number of passengers, but that with its six years in operation, the airline now controls more than 65 per cent of the market share as far as passenger operations was concerned in the domestic market.

 “We have made it possible to connect from many key cities in the country direct to Lagos and Abuja. This network has stimulated the Nigerian economy as Nigerians can now travel safely and comfortably on brand new aircraft. We are not just building an airline or the aviation sector- we are contributing to the growth of the Nation.

“The Airline has an extremely strong market position in terms of the scale of operations, number of destinations served, fleet age and size, and choice of schedules and frequencies – and has earned its position of being a true Nigerian carrier,” Ndulue said,

In the nearest future, Ndulue said the airline planned to expand its African operations to include: Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Conakry (Guinea), Kinshasa (Congo), Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), Libreville (Gabon). Also there are plans to expand long-haul destinations to include Lagos-Houston (USA), Abuja-Kano-Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Accra-London, Freetown-London.

Now firmly established as West and Central Africa’s largest airline and  Africa’s fastest growing airline, Arik Air has received several awards during the short period of its existence. Some of them include USA’s African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) recognition as aviation leader in the transport sector in West and Central Africa;  Business and Professional Women in Nigeria (BPW) Award for Excellence; International Quality Summit Award, Platinum Category, Paris, France, October 2010; and  Best Security Conscious Airline in West Africa Award 2011, 2012.

Ndulue also disclosed that the airline has made tremendous input in the training of manpower in the industry, even as it has provided employment for thousands of Nigerians. Specifically, Arik Air has provided employment opportunities about 2,500 Nigerians since coming into operations in 2006. This is in addition to the training of cadet pilots by the airline at the cost of $2million.

No comments:

Post a Comment