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Arik Air Flies the First Nigeria Registered Aircraft to US in 20 Years

April 8, 2014 Aviation No Comments Email Email

Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest commercial airline, has achieved another landmark in Nigerian aviation by flying the first Nigerian registered commercial aircraft to the United States of America in two decades.

Last month staffed by an all-Nigerian crew, Arik Air flew the A330-200 aircraft registration 5N-JID from Lagos, Murtala Muhammed airport to New York, JFK. This latest milestone was the result of three years preparation, during which time the airline received the Part 129 approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and was also awarded the Extended Range Twin Operations (ETOPS) approval.

“We continue to be very proud of the achievements Arik Air has made in both the Nigerian and African aviation industry. To fly the first Nigerian registered aircraft to the US in 20 years is a pivotal moment for the US and African aviation industry especially during this time of unprecedented growth across the continent’ said Robert Brunner, Vice President’s of the America’s, Arik Air.

Arik Air commenced direct flight operations from Lagos to New York in November 2009 using its foreign registered A340-500 aircraft operated by Hi-fly of Portugal. This marked the first direct flight between Nigeria and the United States to be operated by a Nigerian airline in the last decade. The airline has two A340-500 and two A330-200 aircrafts in its fleet of 26 aircraft, and with the ETOPS approval, Arik Air has the flexibility of interchanging between its two variants of wide body aircraft for the Lagos to New York route.

The airline has achieved a number of significant aviation milestones in its short seven-year history. Arik Air was the first airline in Nigeria to operate new aircraft in almost two decades, as well as the first to operate the A340-500 and new CRJ1000 aircraft in Africa. The airline continues to win numerous international safety awards, and last month was awarded the coveted honor of being named Organization of the Year by the African Achievers Awards.

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