How far can the wings of Nigeria fly their countrymen and visitors from abroad? Arik Air currently prides itself as Nigeria’s elite airline though it is yet to be awarded the mandate of flag carrier. It has its headquarters at Murtala Mohammed International Airport and an additional hub at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
Arik Air was founded in 2002 but did not begin operations until 30 October 2006. It succeeded Nigeria Airways which had been liquidated some three years ago. In April of 2006, Arik Air took over facilities which had previously been owned by Nigeria Airways and shortly afterwards, received two new Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft which were intended at servicing domestic destinations and others within the African Content. Other planes in its inaugural fleet were two Flight 737-300s from United Airlines and 3 CRJ-200s. Currently, Arik Air flies to popular international destinations which include London-Heathrow and New York JFK.
Arik Air has a total of 24 airplanes in its fleet. It is a mixed fleet of Flight, Airbus and Bombardier aircraft. There are two Airbus A330-200s, 13 Flight 737s and the rest are Bombardiers including the Dash 8 Q400. Arik Air has an order for 21 additional aircraft which will presumably enable it to add more destinations to those it is already servicing.
The airline services 26 domestic and international destinations. For the years it has been in operation, the airline has striven to fly to majority of popular airlines including London-Heathrow and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Most of the destinations its services however are in West Africa.
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Arik Air has a two-class cabin configuration. Passengers will have a choice between the business class product and economy. The business class product has a premier prefix so that customers will easily depict it as the airline’s equivalent of first class. Some of the extras you get if you buy a premier business class ticket include noise cancellation headsets, African cuisine and a variety of other choices and personal entertainment.
Arik Air has personal entertainment across all its class products. In premium business class, there is a 17” screen fitted at every seat and a 10.2” at every economy class seat. The airline’s in-flight entertainment system is powered by the AVOD (Audio Video on Demand). The system allows its users to select from a wide selection of movies, TV shows and music.
You are allowed to carry one personal item i.e a laptop, small bag or purse. For passengers in business class, the first checked-in bag is free but must not weigh more than 30 Kg. For passengers in economy class, the free baggage allowance is 20 kg; infants in any class are allowed a baggage not exceeding 10 Kg. Note that Arik Air charges NGN 500 for every additional kg.