Arik Air Begins Flights into Dubai

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Arik Air Begins Flights to DubaiDubai to Welcome Arik Air Flights

Arik Air is to begin flight operations into Dubai as part of its international route expansion programme.

The announcement, which was made by Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Arumemi Ikhide, was welcome news to numerous Nigerian travellers who ply the lucrative Lagos-Dubai route dominated over the years by Arab airlines.

Aviation industry analysts had faulted the monopoly of that route by Mid-East airlines while welcoming the entry of an indigenous carrier to ply the route to increase the options available to Nigerian travelers.

Ikhide had told journalists that services would commence in July this year from the Murtala International Airport in Lagos with a stopover at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport where other passengers would be picked up for the final journey to Dubai, UAE.

He said the launch of flights by Arik Air into Dubai would make it the first Nigerian carrier to offer services between Abuja and the UAE.

“Dubai is the fastest growing market from West Africa with Lagos-Dubai route alone acounting for over 200,000 passengers in 2013,” said Ikhide.

“Other West African States have also shown significant growth in the traffic to Dubai with Nigeria leading the way. It is therefore only appropriate that a Nigerian carrier should serve this route. We envisage that the great potential on this route will drive Arik Air to increase the capacity in the future. The cargo potential on this route is also significant,” he said.

He explained that Arik Air would offer competitive fares on the route to attract Nigerian passengers, adding that there is enough capacity for all carriers that operate in the Middle East routes.

Ikhide said Arik is not worried over the seeming competition on the routes, as its team had understudied why other Nigerian airlines that ventured into the route failed.

He disclosed that the airline would collaborate with Emirates Airlines for code sharing agreement on how to consolidate operations on the route, which had enough capacity to accommodate all airlines.

In his words: “Why should we allow foreign carriers have access to our market and engage in capital flight when Nigerian airlines could deliver? There is no harm in patriotism.”

He explained further that the plans by the Federal Government to float a national carrier would not in any way affect the fortunes of Arik Air.

“We are aware of discussions by government to facilitate a national carrier. Arik Air is not worried over it. The aviation industry is a huge market and the market penetration is inadequate. We are in support of a national carrier, even as Arik Air is already offering national service,” Ikhide concluded.

Category: Dubai Airport Flights, Dubai Airport News, Dubai International Airport, Dubai News, Emirates Airlines

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