Thursday, 26 June 2014

Expert warns Arik Air on Dubai route

One of the most respected voices in the Nigerian aviation industry and the President of Aviation Round Table, ART; Capt. Dele Ore has warned the management of Arik Air to beware of the antics of operators on the United Arab Emirate, UAE, route Dubai.
Ore in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos described airlines flying the route as ‘predators’ that would do everything possible to frustrate the airline out of the route. At the moment, Emirates and Etihad Airways fly directly from their bases in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively.
Emirates enjoys about 21 frequencies into multiple entry points into Nigeria, while Etihad flies twice daily into the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos. In all, the two airlines enjoy about 34 frequencies weekly into Nigeria. Apart from the duo, several other international airlines fly into the route from Nigeria after a stop over in the home countries.
Airlines like Qatar, Egypt Air, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Asky among others fly into the UAE route. Ore warned that the operation was capable of knocking the airline off completely from the market, stressing that it doesn’t have the chance to compete with other carriers that have already established themselves on the route.
He added, “Equipment to equipment, our Arik doesn’t have a chance to compete effectively.
Let’s face it, when we talk about capacity and frequencies, how many times can they operate in and out from Nigeria to Dubai when compared with over 21 frequencies from Emirates alone. They would try, but I still say they don’t have a chance to compete with the airlines on the route. This may likely be a very big disadvantage to its own survival.”
It would be recalled that Arik Air had recently announcd its preparedness to expand its reach to the Middle East by becoming the first airline in the country to offer a commercial service between Abuja, Nigeria and Dubai.
The Group Chief Executive Officer, GCEO, Arik Air, Mr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide had announced that the airline would commence the flight on Monday July 28, 2014.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Arik Air commences operations into Dubai

Indigenous carrier, Arik Air, is to commence flight operations into Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of its international route expansion programme.
The announcement, which was made by Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Arumemi Ikhide, was indeed 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-Easst airlines while welcome 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 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 for the benefit of our travelling populace. 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.