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AKI-INTRO-WINGS OF NIGERIA
Formed and started operations in 2006. Full name: Arik Air "Wings of Nigeria." Domestic, regional, & international, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
Arik Air Aviation Center
Murtala Muhammed Domestic Airport
PO Box 10468
Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
The Federal Republic of Nigeria was established in 1960, it covers an area of 923,768 sq km, its population is 125 million, its capital city is Abuja, and its official language is English.
April 2006: Arik Air (AKI) moved into the former Nigeria Airlines (NIA) facilities in Lagos. The takeover included acquiring (NIA)'s old DC-10 and A310 airplanes.
(AKI) plans to introduce international routes to the USA, UK, and the Far East by the second half of 2007. Has local approvals to fly to Atlanta and Houston next year, as well as flights to London Stansted.
2 orders 737-322 (24360, N354UA; 24454, N361UA), ex-United Airlines (UAL), bought from Bravia Capital Partners, New York. Also operates 2 used Canadair CRJ-200's, 50 passengers, built in 2003.
May 2006: 2 orders Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jets. Arik Air (AKI) will be the first CRJ-900 operator on the African continent, and the first airline to introduce new commercial airplanes into Nigeria since 1982. The CRJ-900 will be operated on domestic routes starting in July. The airplane will have a two-class interior with 10 business class (C) seats and 65 economy (Y) seats.
June 2006: Nigerian start up Arik Air (AKI) took delivery of two CRJ-900s in Montreal, becoming the first operator of the airplane in Africa. The order was announced last month. Two airplanes now are making their way to Nigeria with two more to follow in the next several months.
At an emotional ceremony at Bombardier's Mirabel facility, Nigerian officials expressed pride and optimism over the future of aviation in the county of 120 million, while Archbishop Patrick Ebosele Ekpu invoked a special blessing for the new airplanes. "Two years ago, we started out on this journey, trying to find out which airplane was best," said Arik Air (AKI) Chairman, Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide. "We wanted new airplanes. For the past 23 years, we never had a new airplane in Nigeria." He said that Arik (AKI) selected the CRJ-900 because of its technology, operating economics, and its high level of customer support. He also said the airline recently acquired assets belonging to the former Nigeria Airways (NIA). In addition to the CRJ-900s that will begin service this summer, Arik (AKI) has two previously owned 737s and three CRJ-200s. The fleet also includes two Hawker 800XPs for corporate use.
Harold Demuren, Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation said aging airplanes are a great concern in Africa. "We were looking for a potential carrier to operate modern airplanes," he said. "It should not be different in Africa." He cited the need for "a high level of reliability, support and maintenance." Initially the CRJ-900s will be flown by Bombardier pilots (FC), while Arik Air (AKI) pilots (FC) undergo training in Canada. Lufthansa (DLH) Technik (LTK) will provide maintenance services for the privately held carrier.
August 2006: The initial short-haul network, to start by October, comprises nine domestic and four international services.
October 2006: Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) signed a five-year Total Technical Support contract with Nigerian startup Arik Air (AKI) covering two 737-300s, three CRJ-200s and three CRJ-900s. (AKI) plans to launch October 17 flying from its Lagos base to 10 domestic and three international destinations. It plans to start intercontinental service next spring. Lufthansa (DLH) CityLine will provide line maintenance and engineering services on the Regional airplanes.
(AKI) of Nigeria announced on its website that it "temporarily delayed the commencement of all passenger flights." The startup had been scheduled to launch this month. "Non-passenger test flights will continue to run to ensure that your first and every flight are of the highest standard," (AKI) said, adding that it will start operations "soon."
2 737-322's (24360, 5N-MJB; 24454, 5N-MJA), ex-United Airlines (UAL), ex-(N354UA) & (N361UA), respectively. 3 Canadair CRJ-900s (CL-600-2D24) (15054; 15058; 15059), deliveries, ex-(C-FGNB), (C-FHRH), (C-FHRK), respectively.
November 2006: Aril Air (AKI) started operations initially with 4 daily round trip flights between Lagos and the capital Abuja. Services to Benin, Enugu, Kano, and Calabar were added later.
(AKI) of Nigeria has ordered an additional CRJ-900, its 4th. The airline began domestic operations in October 2006, and plans on adding international operations next year.
February 2007: 2 DHC-8-Q315s (586, PH-DMA; 587, PH-DXA), Denim Air (DNM) wet-leased.
March 2007: Boeing (TBC) will deliver two 737-700s to Nigerian startup Arik Air (AKI) next month. It currently operates two 737-300s, seven CRJs and two turboprops.
CRJ-900 (15114), delivery.
April 2007: Arik Air (AKI) placed a $1.5 million, 2 orders 777-200LRs, 2 orders 777-300ERs, and three orders 787-9s. The deal was announced simultaneously with the delivery of two new 737-700s. The Nigerian airline is the fourth from Africa to order both the 787 and 777. Nigeria is working toward achieving Category 1 status, and after that is accomplished, Arik (AKI) plans to fly to the USA. It will be operating 16 airplanes by June on 11 domestic routes.
2 737-7BDs (33932, 5N-MJC "Martin;" 36073, 5N-MJD "Michael"), bought from Air Tran (CQT).
May 2007: Arik Air (AKI) has been operating domestic services since last October, and will launch its first international services in June. Accra, Dakar, and Douala, will be the first international destinations and will be served with 737-700s. Plans to launch its first long-haul route from Lagos to London Heathrow (LHR) in August. Arik Air (AKI) won access to (LHR) in December as part of a new UK-Nigeria bilateral. (AKI) is seeking to launch flights to Houston before the end of this year and flights to the Middle East and Soth Africa in 2008. (AKI) plans to wet-lease an A330-200 for the daily London service and is seeking to wet-lease an A340-500 to serve Houston two to three times per week.
June 2007: $104 million, 4 orders DHC-8-Q400s, two class, 10C (34 inch pitch), 62Y (31 inch pitch). Currently has 3 CRJ-200s, 4 CRJ-900s and DHC-8-300s, Denim Air (DNM) wet-leased. The DHC-8-Q400s will replace the DHC-8-300s on Lagos - Port Harcourt (turboprops only). (AKI) has 7 routes in Nigeria, which will rise to 11, prior to introduction of African West Coast and intercontinental destinations later this year.
September 2007: Nigeria's Arik Air (AKI) increased its commitment to Boeing (TBC) airplanes, placing an order for 10 737-800s, four 787-9s and one 777-300ER, worth a combined $1.8 billion at list prices. The carrier placed an order for seven long-haul airplanes in the spring, when it took delivery of two 737-700s. Arik (AKI) eventually hopes to serve the USA, and is working with Boeing (TBC) on securing USA (FAA) Category 1 status for Nigeria. "This additional order for Boeing (TBC) jets demonstrates our commitment and a purposeful strategy to establish world-class commercial aviation service in Nigeria," Arik (AKI) Managing Director, Mike McTighe said. The airline currently operates 16 airplanes on domestic routes.
November 2007: 737-7GL (34761, 5N-MJE), delivered to SkyEurope (SKP), and sold to Arik Air (AKI). F 50 (20192, PH-LMT), Denim Air (DNM) wet-leased.
December 2007: 737-7GL (34762, 5N-MJF), delivery.
January 2008: Arik Air (AKI) of Nigeria launched its first regional route, Lagos - Accra, this month. Service will operate twice-daily on a 737-700. The carrier said it "plans to cover the West African subregion, before making a foray into the entire African continent" and eventually plans to operate 40 international flights per day. It also announced an expansion of its domestic network to Owerri, to which it will fly from Lagos and Abuja. Arik (AKI) now serves 12 Nigerian destinations, and plans to take delivery this year of six 737-700s, four 737-800s and two DHC-8-Q400s. It currently operates four 737-700s, two 737-300s, four CRJ-900s, one CRJ-200, and two Hawker 850XPs in addition to three DHC-8-Q300s and two F 50s wet-leased from Denim Air (DNM).
March 2008: Arik Air (AKI) on March 5, 2008, made a grand entry into Sokoto, the Seat of The Caliphate, as the airline began scheduled service to the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto. (AKI)’s inaugural flight to Sokoto, which originated from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, touched down at the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto at midday.
April 2008: Arik Air (AKI) has been granted approval by the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) to commence direct commercial flights into the USA. However, Arik Air (AKI) will be expected to operate the scheduled commercial flights into the USA using only wet-leased airplanes from a duly authorized and properly supervised USA or foreign air carrier. This arrangement will exist until Nigeria attains the Category One Status of national safety requirements, which will enable Arik Air (AKI) and other designated Nigerian carriers to fly into the USA with their own airplanes. Some of the USA destinations Arik Air (AKI) is expected to service are Houston, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.
Arik Air (AKI) has purchased another two new-build 737-700s from AirTran (CQT) of the United States. Both airplanes were sold at delivery, the first (33944, 5N-MJG) on April 16th and the second (36719, 5N-MJH) on April 28th. These are the third and fourth new 737-700s that (AKI) has purchased from AirTran (CQT).
2 737-7BDs (33944, 5N-MJG; 35719, 5N-MJH), bought from AirTran (CQT).
May 2008: Nigerian carrier Arik Air (AKI) has signed a letter of intent (LOI) covering three 747-8I Intercontinentals which, if firmed, would make it only the second commercial airline to order the passenger variant. Arik’s executives were in Seattle, taking delivery of two additional 737-700s. Last month the Lagos-based carrier said it was planning to discuss “issues of mutual interest” during the visit. A Boeing (TBC) spokesman said: “Arik Air (AKI) Chairman [Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide] and [Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO] Scott Carson signed a letter of intent (LOI) for seven 737s and three 747-8Is at a luncheon ceremony for the delivery of two new 737-700s to the airline. “With this announcement, Arik Air (AKI) has made public its plans to operate 17 [new] 737s, five 777s, seven 787s, and three 747-8Is.” He adds that the 737s will be either 737-800s or 737-900s, although this is yet to be decided. The passenger version of the 747-8 has to date attracted only one announced commercial airline order, from Lufthansa (DLH) which is buying 20 airplanes. Boeing (TBC) has also sold seven 747-8s in a VIP layout. Boeing (TBC) is forecasting around 85 airplane sales for the 747-8I.
June 2008: Receives OK from the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for direct flights to the USA using wet-leased airplanes. Has plans to start in December 2008 to destinations such as Houston, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.
Nigerian carrier Arik Air (AKI) has been invited to set up Lagos - originating links with Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Cameroon, and Senegal by the countries’ governments and has accelerated the delivery of seven 737-700s.
Arik (AKI) Chairman, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Johnson says the Lagos-based carrier has already received approvals from the five West African nations’ Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA)s. He added that the invitations are testament to Arik Air (AKI)’s achievements in Nigeria, where it has been operating since October 2006.
By the fourth quarter of 2008, Arik (AKI) will take delivery of two additional 737-700s and two 737-800s. (AKI) has a number of new airplanes on order and recently signed a letter of intent (LOI) covering three 747-8I Intercontinentals.
Arik (AKI) said: “As a consequence of airplane shortages resulting from (AKI)’s expanding domestic network and sublime operating performance, the airline also announced and signed an agreement with Boeing (TBC) to bring forward the delivery date of seven optional 737-700 airplanes from 2013 to 2009.”
In the shorter-term, (AKI) will begin services to the West African state of Niger Republic, where it has been granted national carrier status, on 1 July. Sierra Leone will follow soon afterwards. Arumemi-Johnson has called on Boeing (TBC) to work with Nigeria’s (CAA) to help bring the country’s systems and knowledge base up to date. He has also asked the USA manufacturer to help with training at Nigeria’s aviation technology college in Zaria.
July 2008: At the Farnborough Air Show, Arik Air (AKI) announced an order of seven 737NGs of undisclosed variant valued at around $400 million. Arik (AKI) Chairman, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Johnson said the Nigerian carrier will use the 737NGs "as the cornerstone of our regional operations." Arik (AKI) said it intends to purchase the 747-8I and said negotiations over the final contract are ongoing.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) said Arik (AKI) selected the (GEnx) to power seven 787s it has ordered and finalized its engine order of five (GE90-115B)-powered 777-300ER/-200LRs. (GEC) valued the combined engine deals at more than >$500 million.
August 2008: The British Airports Authority (BAA) has granted Arik Air (AKI) permission to operate direct flights from Lagos to London. (AKI) has been awarded four slots and plans to begin flights to London Heathrow (LHR) airport in November this year using its newly delivered A340-500 airplanes. (AKI) is scheduled to take delivery of three new A340-500s between October and December. (AKI) said it is pushing for more slots at Heathrow, so it can provide daily service in the market.
737-76N (28640, 5N-MJI), ex-(N740AL), delivery.
September 2008: Arik Air (AKI) ordered three A340-500s. SEE ATTACHED "FLIGHT" ARTICLE - - "AKI-KFH-A340-500-SEP08." The (Trent 500)-powered airplanes will be delivered by the end of November and will be used on new routes to London, New York and Houston. "This airplane order will enable Arik Air (AKI) to start international connections with new and modern airplanes, that will support our objective to become one of Africa's key airlines, that operate at international standards with new airplanes, top maintenance, and where security and quality come first," Arik (AKI) Chairman, Joseph Arumemi-Johnson said. According to its website, as of July, Arik (AKI) operated six 737-700s, two 737-300s, four CRJ-900s, two Hawker 850XPs, and three DHC-8-Q300s and one F 50 on wet-lease from Denim Air (DNM). It also has 17 737-800s/-900s, seven 787-900s, three 777-300ERs, two 777-200LRs, four DHC-8-Q400s and three CRJ-900s on order.
December 2008: Arik Air (AKI) takes delivery of its first A340-542. The airplane will be operated on flights to London Heathrow, New York (JFK), and Houston.
February 2009: 737-86N (35638, 5N-MJN), (GEF) leased.
April 2009: A340-542 (912, CS-TFX), delivery.
September 2009: Arik Air (AKI) operates a growing domestic network. An across-border route is also operated to Accra in Ghana and other regional and international destinations (see below).
(IATA) Code: W3 - 725. (ICAO) Code: ARA - (Callsign - ARIK AIR).
Parent organization/shareholders: Ojemai Investments (100%).
Main Base: Lagos Murtala Muhammad airport (LOS).
Domestic destinations: Abuja; Akure; Benin City; Calabar; Enugu; Gombe; Jos; Kaduna; Kano; Katsina; Lagos; Maiduguri; Owerri; Port Harcourt; Sokoto; Warri; & Yola.
International destinations: Accra (Ghana); Banjul (Gambia); Cotonou (Benin); Dakar (Senegal); Freetown (Sierra Leone); Johannesburg (South Africa); & London (UK).
2 DHC-8-402s (4207, 5N-BKU; 4219, 5N-BKV), deliveries.
October 2009: Arik Air (AKI) appointed Jason Holt as its new Managing Director. Holt had been working in London for Arik International, which provides logistical business support and management consultancy services to the carrier, and formerly was Director Flight Operations for Virgin Nigeria (VNA) and BMED (BMR).
737-8JE (38970, 5N-MJP), delivery.
November 2009: Arik Air (AKI) will launch five-times-weekly, from Nigeria's political capital, Abuja to London Heathrow on November 27 aboard a 737-800. (AKI) already flies there from Lagos, Nigeria’s busiest commercial center. Intriguingly, (AKI) will fly the nearly 3,000-mile route with 737-800s, taking advantage of the fact that north-south flights don’t face significant headwinds in
either direction. For the record, the world’s longest scheduled 737-800 flights are operated by Copa (COP) from Panama City to Buenos Aires, according to an "Airline Weekly" analysis using Official Airline Guide (OAG) MAX Online.
(AKI) will launch thrice-weekly, Lagos - New York (JFK) service on November 29 aboard an A340-542 providing the only direct flight on this route. The flight will be operated by (AKI)'s partner, HiFly Transportes Aereos (LXA) and will be its third long haul route, following daily flights to London and Johannesburg.
(AKI) took delivery of the first of four ordered 72-seat DHC-8-Q400s.
February 2010: Arik Air (AKI) took delivery of 737-8JE (38971, 5N-MJQ).
March 2010: Arik Air (AKI) took delivery of its fourth 737-800 and 25th airplane overall. The airplane seats 16 in business class (C) and 132 in economy (Y).
June 2010: A330-200 delivery, Arik Air (AKI)'s 26th airplane and third wide body type. It will be used to fly to Johannesburg.
August 2010: The USA (FAA) announced Nigeria has achieved a Category 1 safety rating after making improvements to meet (ICAO) standards. The upgrade will allow Nigerian airlines to fly their own airplanes to the USA. In a statement, the (FAA) said the “Category 1 rating is based on the results of a July (FAA) review of Nigeria’s civil aviation authority."
Until the category upgrade, Nigerian carriers had to wet-lease airplanes from another airline with Category 1 status for USA-bound flights. Nigeria becomes the sixth country on the continent to achieve a Category 1 rating, joining Cape Verde, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, and South Africa.
The (FAA) said an (IASA) Category 1 rating “means a country has the laws and regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, and that its civil aviation authority–equivalent to the (FAA) for aviation safety matters–meets international standards for technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping and inspection procedures.”
November 2010: Arik Air (AKI) wants USA Transportation Department approval to begin service to the USA with its own airplanes and flight crews (FC), and to an additional market. (AKI) wants (DOT) approval to begin three-times-weekly service in mid-2011 from Lagos to both New York John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport with A330-200 or A340-500 airplanes. In its application, (AKI) noted the services will “connect key petroleum centers vital to both the USA and Nigeria.”
(AKI) currently offers service from Lagos to (JFK) by wet-leasing airplanes from HiFly Transportes Aereos (LXA). That’s the only way (AKI) could offer the service when it started in November 2009 because at the time Nigeria had a Category 2 rating from the (FAA) under its International Aviation Safety Assessment program. Under that rating, Nigerian carriers could operate to the USA only if they wet-leased airplanes and crew from a USA carrier or a foreign carrier from a Category 1 country, even though the USA and Nigeria signed an "open skies" deal more than >10 years ago. In August, however, the (FAA) upgraded Nigeria to Category 1, finally freeing Nigerian carriers to apply to operate to the USA with their own airplanes.
January 2011: Arik Air (AKI) currently serves 18 destinations in Nigeria and nine abroad, including the long haul routes New York,
London, and Johannesburg.
March 2011: Arik Air (AKI) entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with the government of Sierra Leone to incorporate "Leone Airways," which will be the country’s national carrier, (AKI) announced following a visit from Sierra Leone President, Ernest Bai Koroma.
(AKI) Managing Director, Chris Ndulue said that Leone Airways will operate the Freetown - London route and that structures are being put in place to enable the airline to start operations soon.
(AKI), which began operations in 2006, has a fleet of 26 regional, medium- and long-haul airplanes, including two A340-500s.
April 2011: Arik Air (AKI) received (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification from (IATA) (ITA), the second Nigerian carrier to receive the certificate, but the only Nigerian carrier on (IOSA) registration to be fully operational under its own Air Operators Certificate (AOC). It operates more than >150 flights daily from its Lagos hub.
September 2011: Arik Air (AKI) will launch 4X-weekly, Abuja - Ibadan DHC-8-Q400 service on September 19.
October 2011: Arik Air (AKI) is to begin flights from Lagos to Abu Dhabi this November, becoming the (UAE) capital's first link to West Africa. (AKI) will operate thrice-weekly flights on the route from 29 November, deploying A340-500 airplanes on the route.
"It's (AKI)'s first destination to the Middle East and we are really happy they chose Abu Dhabi," said a spokesman for airport operator, Abu Dhabi Airports. It gives the airport its first West African connection, complementing existing in southern and east Africa. "We felt it was part of the world that wasn't connected," said the spokesman. "For us, Africa is a very important part of our development."
Arik Air (AKI) announced a deal for two Boeing 747-8I Intercontinental airplanes, valued at $635 million, making (AKI) the first African carrier to order the long-haul airplane.
“Air travel within the region continues to grow at a rapid pace and we must prepare our fleet to accommodate that growth,” said Sir Joseph Arumemi-Johnson, owner and Chairman of (AKI). “Boeing’s new 747-8I fits perfectly into our long-term planning. It brings the best operating economics for its size, which is important with the increase in fuel prices.”
(AKI) is a privately owned airline operating a large fleet of Next-Generation 737s and serves more than >22 domestic, six regional, and three long-haul routes. (AKI) plans to use the 747-8I on its key long-haul routes.
The new 747-8I features new wing design and an upgraded flight deck. The interior incorporates features from the 787 Dreamliner, including a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers more space and comfort.
December 2011: As West Africa's largest carrier, Arik Air (AKI) is continuing to expand its regional services by adding three new destinations on its Lagos - Dakar route with intermediate stops in Cotonou (Benin), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Bamako (Mali). The new service, called the "Savannah Express" started this month and will operate twice-weekly. The route is operated by a CRJ900, 10C business class and 64Y economy seats. SEE ATTACHED "AIRLINER WORLD" ARTICLE - - "AKI-2011-12-SAVANNAH EXPRESS."
April 2012: Arik Air (AKI) is expected to take delivery of four new A330-300s from September onwards that were originally planned to be leased to Jet Airway (JPL).
Arik Air (AKI) plans to start operating the two A340-500s on its own air operator certificate (AOC) that it had wet-leased from HiFly (LXA) since 2008. The two airplanes are currently used on its long-haul routes from Lagos Murtala Muhammad airport (LOS) to London Heathrow (LHR) and New York John F Kennedy International (JFK) airports.
June 2012: Arik Air (AKI) and IRS Airlines (YAV) have both suspended their services to Kaduna (KAD) from Lagos Murtala Muhammad (LOS) (served by both) and Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport (ABV) (served by (YAV)) following a curfew imposed by authorities after a series of violent clashes between Christians and Muslims in the city.
August 2012: Arik Air (AKI) is about to take delivery of an ex-Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) A330-223 (891) currently being prepared for (AKI), the largest Nigerian carrier at Dublin International airport (DUB). (AKI) had previously operated an A330-200 that had then, however, been repossessed by its lessor due to a dispute over leasing fees. (AKI) currently uses two A340-541s (894, CS-TQL; 910, CS-TFW) wet-leased from long-time partner, HiFly (LXA) (IATA) Code: 5K, based at Lisbon Portela de Sacavem airport (LIS)) for its routes from Lagos to London Heathrow (LHR) and New York John F Kennedy International (JFK) airports.
September 2012: Arik Air (AKI) will operate seasonal 3X-weekly, Lagos - New York (JFK) service on October 29.
(AKI) is reportedly preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) at the Nigerian Stock Exchange later this year. According to a news article by Nigerian newspaper "Leadership," it is currently working with external advisors to prepare for a flotation of some of its shares.
(AKI) resumed operations to its 20 domestic destinations after it stopped flights following a dispute with the Nigerian government, several local media reported. "We are happy to resume operations” Managing Director, Chris Ndulue told journalists, adding that (AKI) resolved ‘‘all issues’’ it had.
According to a statement from the Nigerian government, it said all complaints by (AKI) and the aviation ministry had been resolved. ‘‘We use this opportunity to appeal to both parties to eschew every provocation that may have arisen as a result of this unfortunate misunderstanding.’’
Nigeria’s aviation industry has been in turmoil over the past several months after a Dana Air (DAN) MD-80 crashed before landing in Lagos, killing more than >160 people June 3. Air Nigeria (NIA) suspended operations September 10 after a year plagued with strikes, a tax raid and two groundings by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
In addition, the nation’s Central Bank ordered banks to stop giving loans to (AKI) and aero contractors over debts of several hundred million dollars.
(AKI) has transported more than >1.5 million passengers in 2012 to 20 domestic, regional and long-haul destinations.
(AKI) operates two A340-500s, four 737-800s, nine 737-700s, four Bombardier CRJ900s and two Dash DHC-8-Q400s, according to its website.
December 2012: Arik Air (AKI) recently had a large number of its airplanes temporarily grounded as airline management argued with government officials about who owed how much to whom. Now that that situation has been sorted out, (AKI) has introduced a new twice weekly Lagos service to Kinshasa via Douala using its 737-700s.
March 2013: Arik Air (AKI) enters 2013 with some prospect for growth having reportedly secured a USD2 billion credit facility to fund the acquisition of additional airplanes. (AKI) has also held preliminary talks with Ivory Coast national carrier, Air Cote d’Ivoire to provide that nation’s domestic network.
But despite repeated announcement of new long-haul routes, the previously aggressive (AKI) founded in 2006 after taking over the assets of bankrupt national airline, Nigeria Airways has achieved little growth in recent years. (AKI) harbored pretentions of becoming Western Africa’s leading airline and candidate for membership of one of the main marketing alliances but has been weighed down by debt, the lack of a clear business plan and a meddlesome government.
(AKI) has capitalized on the demise of a major privately-owned competitor in Air Nigeria (VNA) as well as grounding of Dana Airways (DAV) following a crash, which effectively reduced the domestic market to a duopoly with Aero (AFC).
(AKI) has signed a wet-lease agreement with cargo start-up, Emirate Touch Aviation (based at Kano Mallam Aminu International (KAN) airport) to operate its two stored 737-300s (24360, 5N-MJA; 24454, 5N-MJA; 24360, 5N-MJB) on behalf of Emirate Touch in a cargo configuration. According to "Aviation in Nigeria," Emirate Touch has already launched cargo operations on behalf of the Nigerian Central Bank with ex-Associated Aviation ((ICAO) Code: SCD, based at Lagos Murtala Muhammad airport (LOS)) 727-200F (22162, 5N-BNQ). In other news, Arik Air (AKI) has reportedly initiated talks with Bombardier (BMB) to expand its regional airplane fleet. It currently already operates four CRJ-900s and two DHC-8-400s, and is considering placing orders for additional DHC-8-400, CRJ-1000 and CSeries airplanes for future expansion.
April 2013: Leone Airways (based at Freetown Lungi International airport (FNA)) is set to start operations from June 1 with tentative flights to be offered from Freetown Lungi International (FNA) to London Gatwick (LGW). Once the airline has become viable, operations will then spread to encompass domestic and regional flights. Formed in 2011 out of a partnership between Arik Air (AKI) and the Sierra Leone government, the new national carrier will rely on (AKI) to initially provide it with both airplane and technical skills. Since 2009, (AKI) has been Sierra Leone's "designated carrier" thereby allowing it to ply the lucrative Sierra Leone - United Kingdom route. According to "The African Aviation Tribune," Leone Airways marks (AKI)'s first close collaboration in West Africa with Air Côte d'Ivoire ((IATA) Code: HF, based at Abidjan Felix Houphouet Boigny airport (ABJ)) also looking to make use of (AKI)'s expertise in expanding its West African operations.
May 2013: Arik Air (AKI) has launched negotiations with the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil - ANAC) regarding traffic rights and landing slots for São Paulo Internacional Guarulhos (GRU). The route, (AKI)'s first to Latin America and the first connecting the two countries since Varig (VAR) abandoned it 19 years ago, is planned to launch by August 2013 in time for the Nigerian/Brazilian Bi-Commission conference and could possibly be the stimulus needed for (AKI) to finally take delivery of two outstanding A330-200s currently stored in Bordeaux Mérignac (BOD).
(AKI) currently serves 15 countries, 34 destinations and 57 routes.
June 2013: Nigeria 1 Aviation (Lagos) is set to launch during the 3rd quarter of this year through the amalgamation of the assets of all the domestic carriers that are heavily indebted to the state-backed Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, has said. These include Arik Air (AKI), Chanchangi Airlines ((IATA) Code: 5B, based at Kaduna) and Aero Contractors ((IATA) Code: AJ, based at Lagos). AeroContractors were taken-over by (AMCON) in September 2012 at the behest of the Nigerian Central Bank over debts estimated to be USD200million. None of the airlines has yet responded to the announcement. Meanwhile, Irish carrier, Aer Lingus (ARL), has refuted claims it is involved with the Nigerian government's Aviation Intervention Fund, an airplane sourcing initiative set up by Abuja to help Nigerian airlines access airplanes at more competitive rates. Reports in the Nigerian press had claimed Nigerian aviation officials had appointed Aer Lingus (ARL) as airplane lessor for Nigeria's carriers with Irish representatives having allegedly travelled to West Africa for talks with the Governor of the Nigerian Central Bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. According to "The African Aviation Tribune," a more likely lessor, also of Irish origin, would be Shannon-based Aldus Aviation, who were recently awarded a contract by the African Development Bank to set up the Aldus Aircraft Africa (AAA) Leasing Project.
Fly540 Ghana ((IATA) Code: 5G, based at Accra) has at last been granted traffic rights to serve Nigeria following the intervention of the Ghanaian Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). According to "The African Aviation Tribune," fellow Ghanaian carrier, Antrak Air ((IATA) Code: O4, based at5 Accra) is also due to be granted rights should the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) approve their application. Other carriers, likely including Starbow Airlines ((IATA) Code: S9, based at Accra), have encountered unspecified problems with their applications, which Accra has warned, could result in "repercussions" for Nigerian carriers who currently serve Accra, namely Arik Air (AKI) and Aero Contractors ((IATA) Code: AJ, based at Lagos).
Arik Air (AKI) has signed a firm contract with Bombardier (BMB) for three CRJ1000 NextGens and four DHC-8-400 NextGens. Based on the list price of the CRJ1000 NextGen and DHC-8-Q400 NextGen airplanes, the contract, announced during the 2013 Paris Air Show at Paris Le Bourget, is valued at approximately USD 297 million. (AKI) currently operates four CRJ-900s and two DHC-8-Q400 NextGen airplanes.
July 2013: Arik Air ((IATA) Code: W3, based at Lagos) (AKI) is poised to take delivery of two A330-200s (891, 5N-JIC "Joseph of the Holy Family;" 927, 5N-JID), on lease from Irish aviation specialists, the Pembroke Group (PEB), later in the month. In an interview at Arik Air (AKI)'s headquarters in Lagos, Sir Joseph Arumemi Ikhide-Johnson, the company's Founder & Chairman, said the two A330s would augment (AKI)'s plans to increase their New York (JFK) frequencies from 3x weekly to daily from October 2013 on. While the jets are four years old, Mr Ikhide-Johnson said the game plan was to use them for eight years and then swap them for new A350s. (AKI) also has seven 787-9s, two 747-8Is and eight 737-800s on order from Boeing (TBC). As such, following the 737-800 deliveries, (AKI) aims to reach into Egypt and North Africa and then to East Africa with additional frequencies to South Africa, where Arik (AKI) also holds rights to Cape Town. With a new (BASA) with Israel also in the process of being finalized, (AKI) intends to begin Tel Aviv Ben Gurion flights as well.
Arik Air (AKI) is planning to replace A340-500s wet-leased from Portugal's HiFly ((IATA) Code: 5K, based at Lisbon) (LXA) on its daily service between Lagos and London Heathrow by its first ex-Kingfisher Airlines ((IATA) Code: IT, based at Mumbai International) (KFH) A330-200 (891, 5N-JIC) from July 18 onwards. It will continue to use HiFly (LXA) A340-500s on its route from Lagos to New York (JFK) for the time being.
Arik Air (AKI), Western Africa’s largest carrier, looks set to start delivering on some of its often repeated long-haul growth plans with the arrival of the first of four A330-200s, with the second due by the end of this month.
The new A330-200s are aimed at increasing frequencies on some existing services, including Lagos to New York, while also opening new routes with Sao Paulo high on the list. (AKI) plans to use the new A330-200s to upgrade its Lagos - Johannesburg service, replacing the 737-800. (AKI) states that other opportunities include China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and more points in Europe and the USA.
In addition Arik (AKI) has placed firm orders for Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen regional jets and DHC-8-Q400 NextGen turboprops as (AKI) looks to expand its regional network beyond Western Africa.
But (AKI), which is heavily indebted to the government, also faces the prospect of another new national carrier being launched by the end of 2014 to provide domestic, regional and intercontinental competition.
(AKI) has 24 airplanes in its fleet and in June placed orders at the Paris Air Show for four Bombardier DHC-8-Q400s and three CRJ1000s airplanes worth approximately $297 million at current list prices.
December 2013: Commsoft has added Arik Air (AKI) to (OASES) customers in a five-year, 30-user deal. (AKI) will initially use (OASES) to support (CAMO) capabilities and focus on two A330-200s. The Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) software will expand to cover 737-800s, 737-700s, Bombardier CRJ900s and DHC-8-Q400s.
Arik Air ((IATA) Code: W3, based at Lagos) (AKI) has unveiled its first of three CRJ-1000s on order from Bombardier (BMB). The first of the regional jets, (5N-JEE), was presented to the public at Lagos on December 14. As the African launch customer for the type, (AKI) intends to deploy the jet on flights between Lagos and Owerri and Enugu. In addition, it will also be used at night to launch a new third daily Lagos to Accra service. Arik Air (AKI)’s first CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft is configured to seat 100 passengers in an all-economy (Y)-class configuration whereas the remaining two (due to be delivered late next year) will offer a two-class configuration with 12PC Premier Business Class seats and 80Y Economy Class seats. The first CRJ-1000 will be retrofitted to the two-class configuration in the future.
(AKI) currently operates 26 airplanes to 12 countries, 31 destinations on 47 routes and 139 daily flights.
March 2014: Arik Air (AKI) has expanded its African network with the introduction on March 10th of a new twice-daily service from Abuja (ABV) in Nigeria to Dakar (DKR) in Senegal, via Accra in Ghana. The 2,770 km route will be operated by (AKI)’s CRJ 900s and faces no competition. In addition to this international route, Arik Air (AKI) operates non-stop flights from Abuja to 15 other airports in Nigeria, with multiple-daily flights to Benin City, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
April 2014: Arik Air ((IATA) Code: W3, based at Lagos) (AKI) has announced that it operated the first Nigerian-registered commercial airplane to the United States in two decades last month when one of its two A330-200s (927, 5N-JID), flew from Lagos to New York (JFK).
According to (AKI), the milestone was the result of three years of preparation during which time, (AKI) secured both Part 129 and Extended Range Twin Operations (ETOPS) approval from the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Arik Air (AKI) uses its fleet of A330s on flights from Lagos to Johannesburg O R Tambo, London Heathrow and New York (JFK).
Despite a decree issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority in October last year stating that no Nigerian carrier, whether scheduled or charter, will be able to wet-lease foreign airplane for the purposes of commercial operations for periods longer than six months, Arik Air (AKI)'s two wet-leased Hi Fly ((IAT6A) Code: 5K, based at Lisbon) (LXA) A340-500s, CS-TFW (910, CS-TFW & 912, CS-TFX), have yet to be transferred to the Nigerian registry.
July 2014: Arik Air (AKI) expanded its long-haul network with the addition of two new routes to Dubai, the most populous city in the (UAE), both of which are operated five times weekly using its 251-seat A330-200s. On July 28th at 22:15, (AKI) launched operations from Lagos (LOS) to Dubai (DXB), a route which is operated via Abuja (ABV). Furthermore, on July 29th at 01:00, (AKI) commenced operations on the 5,390 km sector from Abuja (ABV), a route which is already flown by Emirates (EAD) (daily). Nevertheless, the 5,900 km airport pair from Lagos (LOS) will face competition from Emirates (EAD)’s twice-daily flights.
Founded on April 3rd 2006 after taking over the former Nigerian Airways’ facilities in Lagos, Arik Air (AKI) is a privately-owned airline operating mainly from Lagos and Abuja airports to a total of 12 countries. (AKI) has been growing rapidly in recent years as August 2014 capacity results in almost +30% growth, when compared to the corresponding month four years ago. With over >40% of weekly seat capacity in Nigeria, Arik Air (AKI) has established itself as the largest operator in the country, above Aero Contractors (NIG) and Dana Air (DAV). (AKI) is currently operating a mixed fleet of 22 airplanes, including Airbus (EDS), Boeing (TBC), Canadair and Bombardier (BMB) airplane types.
Examination of (AKI)’s traffic data (SEE ATTACHED - - "AKI-2014-07 - TRAFFIC GROWTH 2007 TO 2013" indicates that (AKI) handled 2.7 million passengers last year (a new record high), representing an increase of almost +19% when compared to 2012 figures. March 2013 was significant in that (ALI) posted the highest passenger figure for the year, with a total of 260,132 passengers handled, when compared to 171,794 recorded in the corresponding month of 2012.
Overall, looking at passenger development between 2007 and 2013, Arik Air (AKI) posted a decrease of -7% in 2011. With that exception, (AKI) has experienced growth each year, achieving a massive increase of over >300% in 2013, when compared to 2007 figures. Also noteworthy is the fact that (AKI) has flown over >13 million passengers from October 30th 2006 (the day it began commercial operations from Lagos to Abuja) until December 31st 2013.
“The figures for the period just ended are very encouraging and reflect the steady growth that we have been experiencing since launching our operations on October 30th 2006. We have gone through a rapid expansion over the years, while the last two years have been used to consolidate our presence in new markets,” highlighted Chris Ndulue, Managing Director, Arik Air (AKI) as part of the airline’s development over this time frame. “ (AKI) has been the success story of Nigerian commercial aviation. This is set to continue and there is much to be achieved. During 2014, (AKI) plans to increase its market share in Nigeria. With the addition of three new airplanes to our fleet last year, we are set to continue our expansion program by commencing flights to Dubai.”
According to Innovata schedule data for this August, (AKI) operates 80 non-stop services, with the top 11 airport pairs accounting for 31% of all weekly seats (representing a +2% increase from last year’s figures). Following a modest yearly increase of +5.9%, the 510 km sector from Lagos to Abuja still accounts for the majority of weekly seats in 2014. From its two hubs, Arik Air (AKI) operates a combined network of 38 routes this summer, of which Port Harcourt is the most frequently flown destination, being operated 60 times weekly (Lagos — 39 times weekly, Abuja — thrice-daily). Overall, (AKI)’s domestic operations account for an 85% share of seat capacity, with seven of the top 11 airport pairs being services operated within Nigeria (highlighted in dark green in the attached chart "AKI-(2014-07 - TOP 11 ROUTES").
This August, Arik Air (AKI)’s weekly seat capacity will experience +4.7% growth, when compared to data from the same time last year, with six of the top 11 routes growing, while another two saw their operations unchanged. Therefore, the 468 km link between Lagos and Enugu is the fastest growing airport pair, having increased by +65% or 596 weekly seats in the past 12 months. By comparison, services from Lagos to Warri provided the greatest capacity decrease (-7.8%), as a result of (AKI) having been trimmed its frequency from twice-daily to 12 times weekly.
Furthermore, with a new addition to its network (five weekly operations to Dubai from Lagos and Abuja on July 28th using its A330-200s, (AKI) is likely to continue its growth in 2014.
August 2014: Emirates Airline (EAD) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with West Africa's Arik Air (AKI) to develop and expand their existing commercial relationship and explore further areas of co-operation.
Emirates (EAD) and (AKI)r currently have a one-way interline agreement, whereby (EAD) passengers are connected throughout Nigeria and West Africa via (AKI)'s current domestic and regional network.
The (MoU) was signed by Adnan Kazim, (EAD) Divisional Senior VP Planning, Aeropolitical & Industry Affairs, and Chris Ndlulue, Arik Air (AKI)'s Managing Director, at Emirates Group Headquarters in Dubai.
"Both (EAD) and (AKI) have expressed interest in exploring ways to expand on our existing commercial relationship and to look at different areas in which we can cooperate that will be mutually beneficial to both airlines, including seamless connectivity for our customers on our respective networks," said Kazim.
He added: "We also intend to explore the potential of code share arrangements as passenger traffic flows mature between both parties' networks."
September 2014: The Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka, said that the Ministry of Aviation would collaborate with USA experts on safety and security, to ensure safety in air transportation. Chidoka made this known when the US Ambassador, Mr James Entwistle, visited him in his office in Abuja.
He said Nigeria and the USA had been cooperating in the areas of capacity building, and improvement in regulatory and commercial activities. "The key focus of the sector is on safety and security at our airports and we will be talking with USA experts on safety and security.
"In the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category One, we did a lot on safety and security standard at the airports. But now, we are going to deepen in that, to ensure that our system is of world class such that the (FAA) certification process will be just easy,'' Chidoka said.
Earlier, Entwistle said that the essence of his visit was to talk on crucial areas of cooperation in the aviation sector. He said that the USA Government was ready to work with the Nigerian aviation sector, noting that Chidoka would soon be discussing with some U.S. government agencies on safety and security.
On Ebola challenge, he commended the Federal Government and public health officials for implementing effective containment measures. "I visited your Emergency Operation Centre in Lagos and I must say I was impressed; they are doing a good job; and when the news of Ebola spread to Port Harcourt, the response was also quick that was remarkable.
"And the key to this is contact tracing, public information and isolation; you had all these things and your government is doing a good job. "The USA Government, especially the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is glad to help. The situation in Nigeria on Ebola is fundamentally different from the situation in Liberia and Sieore Leone.
"The important thing is that all the cases in Nigeria so far can be traced back to the original index case; that is good news because your contact tracing is doing a good job,'' Entwistle said. He said that when he flew into Abuja from Europe, he was impressed that everybody in the airplane was given a form to fill, including their seat number. "I believe this will help in case there is any challenge of one infected with the disease a contact can easily be traced.
February 2015: Arik Air (AKI), the privately-owned airline operating mainly from Lagos and Abuja airports to a total of 12 countries, entered the Ivory Coast country market on February 16th with a new service from Lagos (LOS) to Abidjan (ABJ) operated via its existing Cotonou route. The 818 km sector will be served four times weekly utilizing a mixed fleet of (AKI)’s 85-seat CRJ 900s and 131-seat 737-700s. This sector is already served directly by Air Cote D’Ivoire (VRE) and Camair-Co (CAM), both with thrice-weekly flights.
April 2015: Arik Air (AKI) has placed the first dual-class Bombardier CRJ-1000 NextGen airplane configured with three-abreast business (C) class seating into service in West Africa. (AKI) will use the airplane to increase network service on its most popular business routes in West Africa.
July 2015: The Nigerian government on July 10 said it has no plan to ban Liberian airlines from coming into the country, following a fresh outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in the West African nation.
A fresh case of Ebola was detected in Liberia, nearly two months after the West African country was declared free of the virus by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Liberian authorities are monitoring at least 100 people thought to have been in contact with a 17-year-old boy, Abraham Memaigar, who died on June 28 in Margibi County, Liberia.
Spokesperson for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Fan Ndubuoke said in Lagos, the country's commercial hub, that both inbound and outbound passengers were being screened for the virus by Port Health Officials.
He told reporters that the Ebola Prevention and Control was a collaborative effort by relevant agencies, saying adequate facilities were in place at the Port Health Office, where inbound and outbound passengers were adequately screened.
According to him, rather than banning the airlines, the various agencies have intensified necessary preventive measures at all the international airports in the country.
He assured the public and intending passengers that all government agencies were on their guard not to allow any passenger who refused to be screened into the country.
He added that the authority would not hesitate to sanction any airline that violated the mandatory screening at its various check points.
August 2015: Arik Air ((IATA) Code: W3, based at Lagos) (AKI) is considering going public next year with Goldmann Sachs and Nigeria-based investment banking firm Vetiva Capital Management Ltd recruited as Initial Public Offering (IPO) advisers. Local industry sources told Nigeria's "ThisDay" newspaper that studies are still in their early stages with no definitive decision taken as yet.
Abuja has indicated its willingness to appoint Arik Air (AKI) as Nigeria's national carrier, should it open up its shareholding to the public. The move would then confer (AKI) with preferential rights and/or privileges for international operations (traffic rights in particular).
Founded by Nigerian businessman Michael Arumemi-Ikhide in 2005, Arik Air currently operates a fleet of twenty-four airplanes (two A330-200s, nine 737-700s, four 737-800s, one CRJ-1000, four CRJ-900s, and four Dash 8-400s) on flights throughout Nigeria, as well as to Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the USA, and the United Kingdom (UK).
Since the collapse of Nigeria Airways ((IATA) Code: WT, based at Lagos) over 10 years ago, Nigeria has seen a number of carriers attempt to hold the mantle of national carrier, the last of which was Virgin Nigeria ((IATA) Code VK, based at Lagos) (later Air Nigeria (VK, Lagos) following Virgin Atlantic (VAA)'s withdrawal from the project).
As previously reported, Goodluck Jonathan's administration had considered consolidating the majority state-owned carrier Aero Contractors (NG, Lagos) with the remains of Air Nigeria to form a new national airline (Nigerian Eagle ((IATA) Code: NG, basede at Lagos)) in 2013. The plan, however, failed to materialize after government failed to reach an agreement with AeroContractors' 40% shareholder, the Ibru family, over funding and equity holdings in Nigerian Eagle.
October 2015: INCDT: Two Arik Air (AKI) Boeing 737-800s have been returned to service following a wing tip collision at Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed Airport.
The incident occurred on October 20, involving 737-800 (38970, /09 5N-MJP; 38971, /09 5N-MJQ). “One of the airplanes, (5N-MJP) was marshalled out of the ramp for a scheduled flight, when its wing brushed that of another airplane, (5N-MJQ) parked on the ramp,” (AKI) said. “Our maintenance partners, Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) have carried out the necessary assessment on the airplanes and have released the two airplanes back to service after changing the affected wing tips.”
Nobody was injured, but (AKI)’s flights suffered slight delays as a result of the ground collision, which (AKI) described as a “wing-tip brush.”
“Investigations have commenced to determine the causes of the incident and appropriate measures to prevent future occurrence,” (AKI) said.
February 2016: Arik Air (AKI) on February 12 launched services from Lagos (LOS) to Libreville (LBV) in Gabon, via Port Harcourt (PHC). According to (AKI)’s booking engine, the sectors will be operated by CRJ200s. Currently the 958 km sector between Lagos and Libreville faces direct competition from Camair (CAM), which itself operates a 2x-weekly service. No other carriers operate on the 575 km airport pair of Port Harcourt and Libreville.
October 2016: "Nigeria's Arik Air (AKI) to Buy Mostly Boeing (TBC) Planes to Double its Fleet" by Oludare Mayowa & Chijioke Ohuocha, Aerospace & Defense, October 31, 2016.
Nigeria's largest airline Arik Air (AKI) plans to nearly double its fleet to 52 planes within 10 years and has already ordered some of them from Boeing (TBC).
Most of (AKI)'s existing fleet are Boeing (TBC) planes and (AKI) would buy most of the new planes from (TBC). Privately owned Arik Air (AKI) needs more planes as it aims to add international routes and increase services, including daily flights to New York, to offset a slowdown at home and bring in more hard currency.
It is also seeking new investors to help it grow and has said it wants to raise up to $1 billion through a private share placement next year and a possible initial public offering (IPO).
Founded a decade ago and now west Africa's biggest carrier by passenger numbers, Arik Air (AKI) has appointed advisers for the share placement and potential (IPO) in Lagos, with a 2ndary listing in London. "We hope to maintain our market leadership and our growth strategy involving substantially increasing our fleet to 52 aircraft by 2025," Managing Director Chris Ndulue said in Lagos to mark (AKI)'s 10 years of operations. "We plan to put our footprint in Europe, Asia and Latin America, aswell as the Middle East, and this requires additional airplanes."
(AKI)'s home market has been hit by falling demand as a currency crisis in Africa's top economy deepens, due in part to the oil price slump. United (UAL) and Iberia (IBE) both stopped services to Nigeria this year and Emirates (EAL) and Kenya Airways (KEN) have announced plans to suspend flights to Nigeria's capital Abuja by next month.
Ndulue said (AKI) would also look at various funding options from international banks despite dollar shortages and the economic recession at home, which had affected businesses.
(AKI) currently has a fleet of 28 airplanes, mostly Boeings (TBC) but also 3 Airbus (EDS) planes and 9 Bombardier (BMB) aircraft.
New routes and services would help the airline generate foreign currency.
Last week (AKI) announced plans to start daily flights to New York in the next 6 months, up from 3x-weekly, and start flights to Rome and Paris within 18 to 24 months. (AKI) flies mainly within western and central Africa, as well as to London and Johannesburg.
A plunge in Nigeria's naira currency has ramped up the cost of importing jet fuel and hurt profit margins as many passengers pay fares in naira.
December 2016: Arik Air (AKI) has resumed operations after a December 20 meeting called by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) addressed concerns between the airline and protesting aviation unions. Earlier in the day, (AKI) said a group of aviation unions had disrupted operations by “occupying” its headquarters and blocking access to both the offices and the terminal at Lagos. “Access to the airport terminals is fundamental to the airline’s operations for movement of its personnel to ready and dispatch our aircraft for various flights,” (AKI) said, adding that check-in for its domestic and international flights had been disabled.
The National Association of Aircraft Pilots & Engineers (NAAPE), the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Traffic Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) were protesting because Arik Air (AKI) does not recognize unions.
(AKI) said on December 20 it was operating flights from both Lagos and Abuja that evening while full scheduled operations would resume December 21. Additionally, (AKI) had put in place extra flights to various domestic destinations through December 24 and has upgraded aircraft capacity on several routes to accommodate the backlog of passengers whose flights were affected by the December 20 protests.
Arik Air (AKI) has been hit by a raft of operational problems, including fuel shortages, industrial action and one of its Airbus A330s being put out of service by a ground handling incident.
The December 20 protest was the latest in a string of woes for (AKI), which has been forced to cancel and delay flights because of local fuel shortages. “The fuel scarcity which has been on for several days is becoming more intense,” (AKI) said on December 16. “(AKI) requires a daily supply of approximately 500,000 liters for its operations but it has been getting between 180,000 and 200,000 over the past 10 days which has severely impacted the scheduled flight operations. Despite the abrupt and random fuel price increase by some marketers, which (AKI) may be forced to pass on to its customers, the product supply still remains epileptic.”
Earlier in the month, on December 5, (AKI) was forced to issue another operational update after one of its A330-200s was involved in a December 1 ground handling incident at New York’s (JFK) International Airport.
With the aircraft out of action, (AKI) put a smaller-capacity Boeing 737-800 on its Lagos - London service, which led to baggage restrictions and delays. “To this end, an extra aircraft was also operated to London Heathrow on Sunday December 4 to accommodate all passengers and some outstanding baggage,” (AKI) said.
On December 14 (AKI) announced that it was deploying a newly secured A340 on its London route and boosting domestic frequencies to handle increased demand in the run up to Christmas. The A340 has been leased from an undisclosed Portuguese source and joins (AKI)’s 2 A330-200s which operate to (LHR) and New York (JFK).
“Instead of the average 100 daily flights normally operated, (AKI) will during the festive period increase its daily flights to an average of 120,” the airline said. (AKI) serves 18 destinations within Nigeria, 10 in West/Central Africa and 3 international destinations.
Arik Air (AKI), which already holds (IATA) (IOSA) safety certification, announced on December 18 that it has secured (EASA) Third Country Operators (TCO) authorization. “(AKI) is among the 590 global airline operators that successfully completed the stringent certification process before the deadline of November 26, 2016 given by (EASA). Arik Air (AKI) is also the only operator in Nigeria to get this authorization which is a requirement for all non-European airline operators to fly into (EU) countries.” In the past, airline operators were required to apply for operating permits from each European country, but (EASA) came up with new requirements in 2014 for compliance by the November 2016 deadline.
January 2017: Nigeria’s Arik Air (AKI) has scrapped a longstanding order for 2 Boeing 747-8Is, replacing it with a pair of Boeing 787-9s.
The change means a further shrinking of the already slim orderbook for the 747-8. Most of the new variant 747s ordered to date have been the 787-8F freighter version, as airlines increasingly turn to “big twins” for long-haul passenger services.
Boeing (TBC) has reduced the 747-8 production rate to 0.5 airplanes a month as it fulfills remaining orders. Arik Air (AKI)’s order for the 747-8I dates back to 2011.
The 2 787-9s are worth $529 million at book value. A regional source, said the 787-9 “makes much better sense” than the 747-8I for Arik Air (AKI), notably on routes to the USA and the UK. Boeing said the delivery dates were a matter for the customer; an Arik Air (AKI) representative said she did not have that information, but understood deliveries were “not imminent.”
According to (AKI)’s website, (AKI), the Nigerian flag carrier’s long-haul fleet comprises 2 Airbus A340-500s and 2 A330-200s. Its short- to medium-haul services are operated by a mixed batch of 10 Boeing 737-700s and 737-800s, while regional routes are operated by 4 Bombardier CRJ900s, a single CRJ1000 and 2 Dah 8-Q400s.
February 2017: (IATA) General Manager SW Africa, Dr Samson Fatoku states Arik Air (AKI) remains a member of (IATA) in spite of financial crises and takeover by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Appointed Captain Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu as Managing Director with Chief Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, Chairman.
March 2017: Due to Arik Air (AKI)'s 2,000 workers imminent retrenchment, (AKI)'s daily flights were reduced from 120x- daily to 18x-daily.
August 2017: Arik Air (AKI) receives global recognition with membership of (IATA).
Click below for photos:
0 737-322 (CFM56-3B1) (1692-24360, /89 5N-MJA; 1750-24454, /89 5N-MJB), EX-(UAL) 2006-10. BF BRAVIA CAPITAL PARTNERS, NY. HSC LEASING LSD. RTND. 12C, 114Y.
4 737-7BD (CFM56-7B22) (2234-33932, /07 5N-MJC "MARTIN;" 2248-36073, /07 5N-MJD "MICHAEL;" 2576-33944, /08 5N-MJG "CLAUDIANA;" 2580-36719, /08 5N-MJH "MARGARET"), BF (CQT). WILMINGTON TRUST LSD. WITH WINGLETS. 12C, 119Y.
2 737-7GL (CFM56-7B22) (2401-34761, /07 5N-MJE "MCTIGHE;" 2427-34762, /07 5N-MJF "QUEEN OF ANGELS"), BF (SKP). CITIBANK LSD 2007-12. WITH WINGLETS. 149Y.
2 737-76N (CFM56-7B) (799-28640, /01 5N-MJI "CITY OF FREETOWN" 2008-08; 855-30830, /01 5N-MJK "CITY OF BENIN" 2008-09), WITH WINGLETS. 12C, 119Y.
9 ORDERS 737-800 (CFM56-7B):
4 ORDERS 737-800/-900 (CFM56-7B26):
2 +10 ORDERS 737-8JE (CFM56-7B26) (3030-38970, /09 5N-MJP "CITY OF SOKOTO;" 3065-38971, /09 5N-MJQ "CITY OF CALABAR" 2010-02). WITH WINGLETS - - SEE INCDT "2015-06." 16C, 132Y.
2 737-86N (CFM56-7B26) (2789-35638, /09 5N-MJN "EDDINGTON;" 2819-35640, /09 5N-MJO "AUGUSTINE"), (GEF) LSD 2009-02. WITH WINGLETS. 16C, 132Y.
2 ORDERS 747-8I INTERCONTINENTAL:
2 777-200LR (GE90-115B):
3 777-300ER (GE90-115BL2), 550 PAX.
7 ORDERS 787-900 (GEnx-1B74) DREAMLINER, 290 PAX:
0 DC-10-30 (CF6-50C) (231-46957, /76, 5N-ANN "YANKARI"), "D" MAINTENANCE CHECK AT (GIA), EX-(NIA), 31F, 244Y.
0 A310-222 (JT9D-7R4D1) (270; 329; 340), (285, /83 5N-AUF "RIVER ETHIOPE"), EX-(NIA). ALL 4 WFU & GROUNDED. 24F, 195Y.
2 A330-223 (PW4168A) (891, /08 5N-JIC "JOSEPH OF THE HOLY FAMILY;" 927, /08 5N-JID), EX-(KFH) 2012-08. STORED AT BORDEAUX MERIGNAC (BOD). 30F, 187Y.
1 A330-223 (PW4168A) (1002, /09 5N-EIA "SULTAN OF SOKOTO"), EX-(F-WJKL), 2010-06. STORED AT BORDEAUX MERIGNAC (BOD). 24C, 259Y.
4 ORDERS (2012-09) A330-300:
2 A340-541 (TRENT 553-61) (894, CS-TQL; 910, /08 CS-TFW "OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP" - - SEE ATTACHED "FLIGHT" ARTICLE - - "AKI-KFH-A340-500-2008-09;" 912, /08 CS-TFX "CAPT BOB HAYES" 2009-04; 1050, CS-TFY). EX-(KFH). 910; (LXA) WET-LST 2008-12. 894 STORED AT TOULOUSE (TLS). 1050; RTND. 36C, 201Y.
0 BOMBARDIER DASH 8-Q315 (PW123E) (574, /03 PH-DMX, 2007-07; 586, /03 PH-DMA, 2007-02; 587, PH-DXA, 2007-02), (DNM) WET-LSD. RTND. 52Y.
4 BOMBARDIER DASH 8-Q402 (PW150A) (4207, /09 5N-BKU "CHRISTOPHER;" 4219, /09 5N-BKV "CYPRIAN" - - SEE PHOTO - - "AKI-Q402 2009-10;" 4262), EX-(C-FPPU), 10C, 62Y.
1 BOMBARDIER CRJ200ER (CL-600-2B19) (CF34-3B1), 6C, 44Y.
4 +3 ORDERS BOMBARDIER CRJ900ER (CL-600-2D24) (CF34-8C5) (15054, /06, 5N-JEC "JOHN PAUL II;" 15058, /06, 5N-JEA "ANTHONY;" 15059 /06 5N-JEB "PATRICK;" 15114, /07 5N-JED "ABRAHAM"), (GEF) LSD 2006-10. 10C, 64Y.
1 BOMBARDIER CRJ-1000 (5N-JEE, 2013-12), 100Y.
2 ORDERS (2-14-11) BOMBARDIER CRJ-1000, 12PC, 80Y:
2 RAYTHEON HAWKER 800XP (TFE731-5BR-1H) (258658, /04 5N-JMA; 258659, /04 5N-JMB, BUSINESS JETS. 8Y.
3 FOKKER F 50 (PW125B) (20192, /90 PH-LMT; 20233, PH-JXK), (DNM) WET-LSD 2007-11 & 2009-05. ALL WHITE COLORS. 50Y.
Click below for photos:
AKI-1-CHRIS NDLULUE - 2014-09
AKI-DR MICHAEL ARUMEMI IKHEDI CEO
SIR JOSEPH ARUMEMI-JOHNSON, FOUNDER.
CHIEF JOHNSON ARUMEMI-IKHIDE CHAIRMAN.
CAPTAIN ROY UKPEBO ILEGBODU, MANAGING DIRECTOR.
JASON HOLT, MANAGING DIRECTOR, EX-(VNA)/(BMR) (2009-10).
KEVIN DUDLEY, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO).
JOHN ROIJEN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO).
STELLA KIWANUKA, HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) MANAGER.