Arik Air adds Kinshasa, DRC to route network
By Oyise OGHENE
LAGOS: Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest commercial carrier is expanding its regional African network with the addition of new flight services from Lagos, Nigeria to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Disclosing this development to newsmen in a statement, spokesman for the airline, Mr. Ola Banji said”the first commercial flight on the route will take place on Wednesday, 5 December 2012 and subsequently operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Sunday”.
Mr. Banji noted that with the announcement of the airline’s intention to fly to Cargo, it means that Kinshasa has now become Arik Air’s third destination in Central Africa, following the inclusion of flights to Luanda, Angola in 2011 and Douala, Cameroon in August this year.
According to him, “the new Lagos-Kinshasa service will operate via Douala, Cameroon with outbound flights departing from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 11:10 am (local time) and arriving at Douala International Airport at 12:40 pm (local time). Flights will then continue onto Kinshasa, departing from Douala at 1:25 pm (local time) and arriving at N’djili International Airport, Kinshasa at 3:25 pm (local time)”.
“The return flights will leave Kinshasa at 4:10 pm (local time), arriving in Douala at 6:10 pm (local time) and will thereafter leave Douala at 6:55 pm (local time), arriving in Lagos at 8:25 pm (local time)” he added.
Mr. Banji further added that the Lagos to Kinshasa route will be served with a Boeing 737-700 Next Generation aircraft. The 737-700 is a two class compartment and the configuration is 12 Business Class seats and 112 Economy Class. Business Class passengers will enjoy a 44” seat pitch with cradle style seats, while Economy Class passengers will have plenty of room on the flight with a generous seat pitch of 34”.
Meanwhile, Arik Air’s Managing Director/Executive Vice President, Mr. Chris Ndulue said of the new Lagos-Kinshasa service: “Kinshasa is our 12th African destination and this underscores the airline’s commitment to linking the African markets for proper integration of the continent. Kinshasa is the second largest city in sub-Saharan Africa and the third largest in the whole continent after Lagos and Cairo. Thus, it is strategically important to link Lagos with Kinshasa.
“Arik Air is now firmly established as the largest airline in West and Central Africa as well as the fastest growing in Africa” he stressed.