ARIK Air has said that as at September 30th 2016, it has ferried 19, 543, 951 passengers since its inception ten years ago attributing this feat and the airline’s continuous patronage to its high level of safetyExecutive Vice President of Arik Air, Mr Chris Ndulue made this known while addressing the media as part of activities marking the airlines tenth anniversary in Lagos, promising that the airline plans to increase its fleet to 52 by 2025.
According to Ndulue the airline which commenced operations 30, October 2006 with a new bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft now has 28 aircraft in its fleet and although there were challenges with the economy that cuts across all spheres, the airline will also increase its routes when things improved.
Ndulue, said the airline which operated three daily flights between Lagos and Abuja now operates an average of 110 daily flights across the network of 18 domestic, 10 regional and three international destinations including Johannesburg, London and New York.
On safety, Ndulue explained that the airline maintain quality standards which has led to the achievement of the international IATA Operational Safety Audit IOSA, four consecutive times further stating that Arik Air is the only airline that has earned the Enhanced IOSA (E-IOSA) since June 13th 2014 making it the only airline to have achieved that feat in the region.
The Arik boss also thanked the government for the implementation of the zero tariff on aircraft and aircraft spares stating that there were some rough edges but it is now sorted out and that is now a major boost for airlines.
He was however sad on the situation with the foreign exchange calling on government to ensure that Nigerian airlines get this and not open a window for them just to make their access to forex a one off thing.
He said in order to improve on their customer experience, the airline has undertaken and introduced a number of products and services which include Arik Affinity Wings, the frequent flyer programme that was aimed at rewarding travellers with the opportunity to earn and spend Affinity miles with the airline.
On the route development, he declared, “We are also looking at starting new routes and we will update our customers with details in the New Year”
Ndulue attributed the phenomenal growth of the airline to its business model which was based on modern equipment and new technology, high standards of maintenance and connectivity.
He promised the airlines capacity to meet up with its customers’ traffic growth forecast for the region saying that the airline had been able to meet its passengers’ expectations.